Article ID: 321081
When you install Microsoft Data Engine (MSDE) version 1.0 or Microsoft SQL Server Desktop Engine (MSDE2000), the installation uses SQL Authentication by default. In addition, the default user name in these cases is sa, and the default password is blank.
This problem may occur when either of the following conditions is true:
The Microsoft Data Engine (MSDE) version 1.0 is installed with the following products:
The Microsoft SQL Server Desktop Engine (MSDE2000) is installed with Microsoft Visio Enterprise Network Tools (VENT).
Microsoft advises that this problem can pose a potential security issue.
To determine whether this applies to your system, try to log on to MSDE by using the OSQL utility from a command prompt. Use the following syntax:
C:\>osql -U sa -PIf you receive the following message
the sa password is not blank, which indicates that the issue does not exist on your system.
Login failed for user 'sa'
However, if you receive the following message after you run the command
"1>"the security vulnerability applies to the system, and you must follow the steps in the next section to change the 'sa' password.
How to Secure the 'sa' Account with a PasswordYou can use the sp_password stored procedure to set up a password for the 'sa' account. For example, to change the 'sa' password from NULL to "Test!01", use code similar to the following:
EXEC sp_password NULL,'Test!01','sa'To set a secure password on Microsoft Data Engine (MSDE) 'sa' account, follow these steps:
Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed at the beginning of this article.
For more information about Microsoft Data Engine (MSDE) security recommendations, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/248683/ )Microsoft Data Engine security recommendations for ISVs
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/313418/ )Unsecured SQL Server with blank (NULL) SA password leaves vulnerability to a worm
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/274773/EN-US/ )FIX: If You Change Windows Security to Windows/SQL Security the SA Password is Blank
290212For additional information about the sp_password stored procedure, refer to SQL Server books online.
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/290212/ )List of bugs fixed in SQL Server 2000 Service Pack 1 (1 of 2)
Acknowledgment: Adrian Romo of Quilogy contributed to this Microsoft Knowledge Base article.