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Oracle warns over unpatched vuln

Zero-day BEA WebLogic flaw gets up Oracle's bonnet

Security for virtualized datacentres

Oracle has decided to break its quarterly update release cycle with plans to develop a patch against a zero-day exploit.

The planned fix addresses a buffer overflow flaw in Oracle WebLogic Server which creates a means for hackers to plant malware onto targeted systems. By sending a specially-malformed HTTP POST request attackers might be able to assault vulnerable systems without needing either user names or passwords, an alert on the bug by IBM's X-force security division warns.

Multiple versions of Oracle (formerly BEA) WebLogic are affected. In an advisory published on Monday, Oracle said it had advised dWebLogic customers about workarounds while it develops a patch to address the root cause of the flaw, which stems from a failure to properly check bounds in the Apache Connector component of the enterprise package.

The planned patch will be to first to be released outside the three-monthly release cycle Oracle introduced three years ago in January 2005. Oracle criticised a decision by independent security researchers to post details of the vulnerability and exploit code before giving it the opportunity to develop a patch.

The flaw rates 10.0 out of 10 - double plus critical - according to the Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS), a cross-industry scheme designed to standardise the ratings of vulnerabilities.

The vulnerability - which affected a wide variety of its enterprise software packages - was made public days after Oracle released 45 security patches as part of its summer update patch cycle on 15 July. ®

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