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Zero-day bug hangs over Oracle database

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Security researchers warn that Oracle 10g databases may be open to attack as a result of an unpatched vulnerability.

A buffer-overflow flaw in the XDB.XDB_PITRIG_PKG.PITRIG_DROPMETADATA procedure allows hackers to load malware onto targeted systems. The vulnerability is reported to affect Oracle database version 10g Release 2, with patches updated as far as February 2007. Other versions of the database may also be affected.

The flaw was discovered by an anonymous researcher who reported it to VeriSign's iDefense Labs.

Hackers need to log onto a database to exploit the bug. That might not be much of a barrier. Proof-of-concept exploit code has been posted on the net, a factor that may aid hackers and in normal circumstances might prompt a vendor to rush out a fix.

Oracle has reportedly created a fix but is not willing to break its quarterly patch release cycle to issue an update. The database giant's next update is schedule for 15 January. In the absence of a patch no ready workaround is available, iDefense reports.

More details on the flaw, and Oracle's laid-back attitude to it, can be found in iDefense's advisory here. ®

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