SQL worm slams the Net

Slammer gobbles Internet bandwidth


A worm, which takes advantage of a six-month-old vulnerability in SQL Server, is having a significant effect on Internet performance this weekend.

The SQL Slammer Worm uses SQL Server Resolution service buffer overflow flaw dating from last July to commandeer vulnerable servers. These serve as drones which randomly scan for more vulnerable servers and fire out exploit code.

Although Slammer is not destructive to an infected host (like Code Red it only exists in memory), it
generates a damaging level of network traffic when it scans for additional targets. The worm continuously sends 367 bytes of exploit and propagation code across port 1434/UDP until the SQL Server process is shut down. Unlike Nimda these attacks are not directed towards local sub-nets but spread across the wider Internet.

ISP UUNET is experiencing critical latency and Level 3 severe latency, according to Internetpulse.net, as Slammer zombies fire off bandwidth crunching chunks of useless traffic.

Military.com report five of the 13 root DNS servers are down, with up to 10 experiencing "massive packet loss" due to the DDoS effect the worm creates.

Fortunately, infected servers are relatively easy to cure, once identified. Admin need only take infected servers offline, apply Microsoft's patch, and restart their machines to cleanse them of infections.

Security firm also recommend blocking port 1434/UDP at firewalls or ISP's routers to stop Slammer's scans getting through.

Fixing the problem is the most important task in hand for now. But after the dust has settled it might be instructive for Redmond to explain why it implemented such a poorly thought out 'ping'-like feature on SQL Server 2000, which has become the root cause of significant security problem this weekend. ®

External Links

SQL Slammer Worm advisory by security tools firm ISS
More on the vulnerability it exploits from its discoverers Next Generation Security Software


Other stories you might like

  • Robotics and 5G to spur growth of SoC industry – report
    Big OEMs hogging production and COVID causing supply issues

    The system-on-chip (SoC) side of the semiconductor industry is poised for growth between now and 2026, when it's predicted to be worth $6.85 billion, according to an analyst's report. 

    Chances are good that there's an SoC-powered device within arm's reach of you: the tiny integrated circuits contain everything needed for a basic computer, leading to their proliferation in mobile, IoT and smart devices. 

    The report predicting the growth comes from advisory biz Technavio, which looked at a long list of companies in the SoC market. Vendors it analyzed include Apple, Broadcom, Intel, Nvidia, TSMC, Toshiba, and more. The company predicts that much of the growth between now and 2026 will stem primarily from robotics and 5G. 

    Continue reading
  • Deepfake attacks can easily trick live facial recognition systems online
    Plus: Next PyTorch release will support Apple GPUs so devs can train neural networks on their own laptops

    In brief Miscreants can easily steal someone else's identity by tricking live facial recognition software using deepfakes, according to a new report.

    Sensity AI, a startup focused on tackling identity fraud, carried out a series of pretend attacks. Engineers scanned the image of someone from an ID card, and mapped their likeness onto another person's face. Sensity then tested whether they could breach live facial recognition systems by tricking them into believing the pretend attacker is a real user.

    So-called "liveness tests" try to authenticate identities in real-time, relying on images or video streams from cameras like face recognition used to unlock mobile phones, for example. Nine out of ten vendors failed Sensity's live deepfake attacks.

    Continue reading
  • Lonestar plans to put datacenters in the Moon's lava tubes
    How? Founder tells The Register 'Robots… lots of robots'

    Imagine a future where racks of computer servers hum quietly in darkness below the surface of the Moon.

    Here is where some of the most important data is stored, to be left untouched for as long as can be. The idea sounds like something from science-fiction, but one startup that recently emerged from stealth is trying to turn it into a reality. Lonestar Data Holdings has a unique mission unlike any other cloud provider: to build datacenters on the Moon backing up the world's data.

    "It's inconceivable to me that we are keeping our most precious assets, our knowledge and our data, on Earth, where we're setting off bombs and burning things," Christopher Stott, founder and CEO of Lonestar, told The Register. "We need to put our assets in place off our planet, where we can keep it safe."

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022