Feeds

Oracle in war of words with security researcher

'What David Litchfield has done is put our customers at risk'

High performance access to file storage

Litchfield notified the database maker of the issue in October, stating that the fix is fairly straightforward. On Wednesday, he posted a workaround for the vulnerability on SecurityFocus' BugTraq mailing list.

However, Oracle said it studied the workaround proposed by Litchfield and found it inadequate. The configuration changes have at least five technical problems that could cause problems for some applications, Oracle's Harris said. He recommended that any customer that considers deploying the workaround first test it on a non-production server.

The release of details regarding the vulnerability has put more pressure on the company, he said.

"Exploits could be generated using the details provided in a short amount of time," Harris said. "We are still making an analysis. If we feel the risk is significant, we will release a one-off patch much as Microsoft did with the recent WMF patch."

The Apache module, which contains the flaw, allows Web applications to use the Procedural Language/Structured Query Language (PL/SQL) to dynamically create database calls. The code has security weaknesses that have been perennial sources of problems for the database maker. Oracle has patched various issues found by NGSSoftware four times, and each time, the company finds a way around the patch, Litchfield said.

"It has been four years and Oracle has not fixed this simple thing," Litchfield said. "It was trivial to find, and because the functions have had bugs in the past, people are looking at this."

Other security professionals have also taken Oracle to task for its troubles in effectively handling security researcher and vulnerability disclosure.

"I think Oracle does have some work ahead of it in working better with security researchers," Michael Sutton, director of research for iDefense, a subsidiary of VeriSign, said following the Black Hat presentation. "It is embarrassing for the vendor and bad for users that the same problem has been patched (unsuccessfully) four times. If the vendor and researcher collaborated more closely, this problem would be solved."

While other companies, especially Microsoft, have gotten much better at working with security researchers, Oracle continues to have problems, he said.

This article was originally published at SecurityFocus.

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
OpenSSL Heartbleed: Bloody nose for open-source bleeding hearts
Bloke behind the cockup says not enough people are helping crucial crypto project
Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed
Vendors and ISPs have work to do updating firmware - if it's possible to fix this
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
Heartbleed exploit, inoculation, both released
File under 'this is going to hurt you more than it hurts me'
Experian subsidiary faces MEGA-PROBE for 'selling consumer data to fraudster'
US attorneys general roll up sleeves, snap on gloves
Bad PUPPY: Undead Windows XP deposits fresh scamware on lawn
Installing random interwebs shiz will bork your zombie box
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.