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Oracle UK systems accused in 'SSH hacking spree'

Database giant investigates DenyHosts reports

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Compromised computers at Oracle UK are listed among the 10 worst offenders on the net for launching attacks on servers which run SSH (secure shell) server software.

Oracle said it is investigating the reported problem, which it is yet to either confirm or refute.

A box (or group of boxes behind a proxy) at Oracle UK is among the worst offenders for launching attacks, according to statistics from servers running DenyHosts software to block SSH brute-force password attacks.

DenyHosts is a script for Linux system administrators designed to help thwart SSH server attacks. Around 6,800 users contribute to the data it collects.

The compromised Oracle boxes - recorded as active since 3 May - feature at number nine on DenyHosts' list. The listing implies a computer (or multiple computers) at Oracle UK have been compromised for weeks allowing hackers to enjoy access to Oracle's bandwidth in order to hack other boxes elsewhere on the net.

For a firm that prides itself on building a "reputation for delivering many of the industry's most secure solutions", this is surely unacceptable.

In response to Register inquiries, Oracle supplied a statement saying that an ongoing investigation is yet to confirm whether its systems have been misused or not.

"Security is a matter Oracle takes seriously and the company's first priority is meeting customer needs and reducing their risk. As soon as Oracle became aware of the situation an investigation began, which is ongoing, but to date the company has found no evidence for any SSH brute-force attack originating from the Oracle owned machine currently listed on the DenyHosts website." ®

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