Feeds

Oracle's first monthly patch batch fails to placate critics

Behind MS on security, says top bug hunter

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

Oracle this week released a multitude of security fixes in a long-awaited and extensive series of patches that constitute its first monthly security update.

In January and February, UK-based security tools firm Next Generation Security Software (NGSSoftware) notified Oracle of 34 security vulnerabilities affecting various versions of its database software. Patches have at last been delivered, along with fixes other vulns discovered by other security researchers and Oracle itself.

David Litchfield, managing director of NGSSoftware, told El Reg that there are probably approximately 100 security fixes in all. "There are tons of bugs for a supposedly 'unbreakable' product," he said, referring to an ill-fated marketing campaign by the database giant a couple of years back when it claimed its products were immune to attack.

The vulnerabilities affect various versions of Oracle Database Server (including the latest 10g release), Application Server and Enterprise Manager software. Oracle's Collaboration Suite and E-Business Suite 11i contain the vulnerable software and are affected as well.

Some of the flaws might be exploited to compromise a vulnerable system, cause a DoS (Denial of Service), or conduct SQL injection attacks, according to security firm Secunia. The risk remains unclear because Oracle is providing no details of the various vulnerabilities. It fears that any information would give vital clues to criminal crackers about how to exploit unpatched systems.

We can't say what this patch does- but apply it now!

In a change of policy, NGSSoftware is holding back information on the bugs it discovered in Oracle's software for three months to give users an opportunity to patch systems (NGSSoftware's stripped down advisory is here). "Some of the bugs we discovered as easy to exploit without even a user ID or password. We've decided to protect people by not releasing the information. All database administrators need to know is that their systems are massively vulnerable and they ought to apply patches. They don't need to know the details," Litchield said.

Oracle's first monthly patch invites comparisons with Microsoft, which adopted the same approach last year. Litchfield said the release of its first monthly security patch showed Oracle was improving its security response ("it's had a change of attitude"), but he is scathing about the firm's overall security stance. "Oracle is maturing, but it still got a long way to go to catch up with Microsoft," he said. ®

Related stories

Oracle joins the monthly patch bandwagon
Oracle 'sitting on security fixes'
Oracle 9i Database, Ap Server bust six ways to Sunday
How to hack unbreakable Oracle servers
Ballmer's new MS security fix same patches, but nicer

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

More from The Register

next story
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
Early result from Scots indyref vote? NAW, Jimmy - it's a SCAM
Anyone claiming to know before tomorrow is telling porkies
TOR users become FBI's No.1 hacking target after legal power grab
Be afeared, me hearties, these scoundrels be spying our signals
Jihadi terrorists DIDN'T encrypt their comms 'cos of Snowden leaks
Intel bods' analysis concludes 'no significant change' after whistle was blown
Home Depot: 56 million bank cards pwned by malware in our tills
That's about 50 per cent bigger than the Target tills mega-hack
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
NORKS ban Wi-Fi and satellite internet at embassies
Crackdown on tardy diplomatic sysadmins providing accidental unfiltered internet access
UK.gov lobs another fistful of change at SME infosec nightmares
Senior Lib Dem in 'trying to be relevant' shocker. It's only taxpayers' money, after all
Critical Adobe Reader and Acrobat patches FINALLY make it out
Eight vulns healed, including XSS and DoS paths
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.