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

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
Ice cream headache as black hat hacks sack Dairy Queen
I scream, you scream, we all scream 'DATA BREACH'!
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
Chinese hackers spied on investigators of Flight MH370 - report
Classified data on flight's disappearance pinched
KER-CHING! CryptoWall ransomware scam rakes in $1 MEEELLION
Anatomy of the net's most destructive ransomware threat
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Researchers camouflage haxxor traps with fake application traffic
Honeypots sweetened to resemble actual workloads, complete with 'secure' logins
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
prev story

Whitepapers

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup
Learn why inSync received the highest overall rating from Druva and is the top choice for the mobile workforce.
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.
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.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.