Feeds

Oracle 'sitting on security fixes'

Delay is the deadliest form of denial

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The essential guide to IT transformation

Database giant Oracle has been censured by a leading security expert for sitting on fixes to defend against a wide variety of security vulnerabilities affecting its database software.

UK-based Next Generation Security Software (NGS Software) has identified 34 security vulnerabilities affecting various versions of Oracle's database software. Around half these flaws affect the latest version of Oracle's database software, 10g. At least one of these bugs could be exploited to give attackers remote access to corporate database servers without a user ID or password. NGS Software told Oracle about the vulnerabilities in January and early February. Oracle is holding up the release of fixes - developed two months ago, according to NGS Software - until its new patch distribution system is ready to go live.

David Litchfield, managing director of NGS Software, is critical of the delay which he argues could have been prevented if Oracle had kept the old version of its patch delivery platform in commission. Oracle's tardiness has prevented NGS Software from discussing its findings with other security experts at last week's Black Hat conference in Las Vegas.

Litchfield told The Register: "I'm all for vendors having as much time as needed when it's clear they're working on a problem. It's important that a supplier produces robust patches that don't break customer applications. But for Oracle to have written patches, tested them until they're blue in the face and then sit on them is something else. I don't know why it didn't keep its old patch distribution platform in place until the new platform was up and running, perhaps running the two in parallel."

It's not the first time Litchfield has had cause to criticise Oracle's handling of IT security issues. Back in 2002 it was NGS Software that first debunked Oracle's claim that its Oracle9i database software was "unbreakable" by unearthing 24 security vulnerabilities with the software.

Oracle has reportedly said patches for the latest vulnerabilities identified by NGS Software will be available shortly. What the heck is going on? We don’t know because the company is yet to respond to our request for comment on this story. ®

Related stories

Oracle e-biz suite needs patching
Oracle 9i Database, Ap Server bust six ways to Sunday
How to hack unbreakable Oracle servers
Exploit Code on Trial
Slammer: Why security benefits from proof of concept code

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Germany 'accidentally' snooped on John Kerry and Hillary Clinton
Dragnet surveillance picks up EVERYTHING, USA, m'kay?
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
Who needs hackers? 'Password1' opens a third of all biz doors
GPU-powered pen test yields more bad news about defences and passwords
Think crypto hides you from spooks on Facebook? THINK AGAIN
Traffic fingerprints reveal all, say boffins
Rupert Murdoch says Google is worse than the NSA
Mr Burns vs. The Chocolate Factory, round three!
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.