DBAs brace for week of Oracle bugs

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Security researchers irked at Oracle's tardiness at releasing patches for security bugs plan to name a different vulnerability in Oracle's enterprise software every day for a week in December.

Oracle's quarterly security bulletins typically produce scores of bugs but yet more known bugs lay dormant and unfixed, according to Cesar Cerrudo, founder and chief exec of the Argeniss Security Research Team. Argeniss plans to release a bug a day involving Oracle databases next month in what's been dubbed "The Week of Oracle Database Bugs"(WoODB). Cerrudo said the effort, styled after Metasploit developer H. D. Moore's Month of Browser Bugs project last July, is designed to push Oracle into releasing fixes more quickly. He rejects suggestions that publicising unpatched flaws might put Oracle shops at greater risk of hacking attacks.

"I think Oracle users' security will be helped since users will realize the real threat they are facing running Oracle flawed software and they will start to put pressure on Oracle asking for responses, improvements in security, etc," Cerrudo told internetnews.com, adding that knowing more about flaws in Oracle's software will help users to take steps to limit the impact of possible attacks.

The time taken by Oracle to release patches has been criticised in the past by database security experts such as NGS Software. Oracle revamped its patch program in October to give more easily digestible information on the fixes it releases every three months. The move doesn't nearly go far enough for Cerrudo who said that the central problem of Oracle failing to patch its flaws in a timely fashion remains.

Argeniss knows of unpatched flaws in the database software of other vendors but reckons Oracle been particularly remiss in dealing with bugs in its software. Cerrudo claimed he could stage a "Year of Oracle Database Bugs" but said a week was enough time to make his point. ®

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