Feeds

Oracle to provide clearer vulnerability ratings

In at number one it's the latest Buffer Overflow...

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

Oracle is to start ranking the severity of security bugs it fixes using an industry-standard scoring system starting with its next quarterly patch update, due on 17 October.

The database giant will grade the threat posed by the bugs it fixes using the Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS). It has also promised to give an easy-to-understand execuctive summary of the flaws it has addressed, highlighting bugs that lend themselves to remote exploitation by hackers. In the past, Oracle published an internally developed risk matrix (example here) along with its quarterly patch cycle but this is to be sidelined if favour of a simpler - and clearer - method of explaining the relative importance of security bugs.

The changes are designed to make it easier for database admins and other users' of Oracle's enterprise software applications to assess the severity of security bugs within their environment and thereby make more informed decisions about how to prioritse security remediation work. That's clearly important because the last two quarterly security updates brought fixes for 65 and 36 flaws respectively, creating plenty of scope for confusion about the relative importance of these various fixes.

"Oracle introduced these changes as the result of feedback we received from many of our customers," Eric Maurice, manager for security in Oracle's Global Technology Business Unit, said in a blog posting. "We hope that these changes will help our customers assess the criticality of the vulnerabilities resolved with each CPU and help them obtain patching decisions from their senior management more quickly."

The changes make sense but fail to address one of the main criticisms of Oracle's security practices - its perceived tardiness in developing security fixes. Oracle has come under fire in the past from security researchers, such as Red Database Security and NGS Software, over the time it takes to release security updates. For example, Red Database Security published information on six flaws in July 2005 after becoming frustrated with a lack of an official security update from Oracle more than 650 days after it notified the software giant about serious flaws. ®

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

More from The Register

next story
Why has the web gone to hell? Market chaos and HUMAN NATURE
Tim Berners-Lee isn't happy, but we should be
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
'Stop dissing Google or quit': OK, I quit, says Code Club co-founder
And now a message from our sponsors: 'STFU or else'
Microsoft boots 1,500 dodgy apps from the Windows Store
DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! Naughty, misleading developers!
Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can
No, not with swearing, but by controlling the release cycle
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
This is how I set about making a fortune with my own startup
Would you leave your well-paid job to chase your dream?
prev story

Whitepapers

Best practices for enterprise data
Discussing how technology providers have innovated in order to solve new challenges, creating a new framework for enterprise data.
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.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
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?