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Oracle Security Blog

November 21, 2014

Next in our blog series on Oracle 12 Unified Auditing is a discussion of Mixed Mode. Mixed Mode is the default auditing mode for Oracle 12c.  Oracle describes Mixed Mode auditing as a means of becoming familiar with Unified Auditing prior to migrating to Pure Unified Auditing.  Mixed Mode allows for all traditional, pre-12c log and audit functionality to co-exist with Unified Auditing.  More importantly, Mixed Mode will support any current Syslog-based logging solution.

Mixed mode auditing provides the following key capabilities –

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November 19, 2014

Continuing our blog series on Oracle 12 Unified Auditing is a discussion of Pure  Mode. Mixed mode is intended by Oracle to introduce Unified Auditing and provide a transition from the traditional Oracle database auditing.  Migrating to PURE Unified Auditing requires the database be stopped, the Oracle binary linked to uniaud_on, and then restarted.  This operation can be reversed if auditing needs to be changed back to Mixed Mode. 

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November 17, 2014

Continuing our blog series on Oracle 12 Unified Auditing, how do you know what mode of Unified Auditing that you are using? Use the following SQL –

SELECT VALUE FROM V$OPTION WHERE PARAMETER = 'Unified Auditing';

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November 14, 2014

In Oracle 12c, a new database auditing foundation has been introduced.  Oracle Unified Auditing changes the fundamental auditing functionality of the database.  In previous releases of Oracle, there were separate audit trails for each individual component.  Unified Auditing consolidates all auditing into a single repository and view.  This provides a two-fold simplification: audit data can now be found in a single location, and all audit data is in a single format.  Oracle 12c Unified Auditing supports –

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November 10, 2014

Tracking when database users last logged in is a common security and compliance requirement – for example to reconcile users and identify stale users. With Oracle 12c this analysis can now be done through standard functionality. New with Oracle12c, the SYS.DBA_USERS has a new column: last_login. 

select username, account_status, common, last_login

from sys.dba_users

order by last_login asc;

 

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November 7, 2014

A database link is a one-way connection between two databases.  Starting with Oracle version 11.2.0.3, database session information now reports additional information for those sessions involving database links.  As often database links are created between databases of different security profiles; it is important to log session activity that includes the details of the database link.

DBLINK_INFO returns the source of a database link.  Specifically, it returns a string of the form –

SOURCE_GLOBAL_NAME=dblink_src_global_name

DBLINK_NAME=dblink_name

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November 3, 2014

Knowing which person, not just which database account, has been a challenge for database logging and auditing when working with enterprise software applications such as the Oracle E-Business Suite, SAP, PeopleSoft, and OBIEE.  Knowing which application user did what and when is now much easier because of adoption of standard Oracle functionality.

Standard functionality of Oracle database is the CLIENT_IDENTIFER attribute.  The CLIENT_IDENTIFIER is a predefined attribute of the built-in application context namespace, USERENV, and can be used to capture the application user name.

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October 13, 2014

Just when you thought the Oracle Database world was getting safer, Oracle will be releasing fixes for 32 database security bugs on Tuesday, October 14th.  This is in stark contrast to the previous twenty-five quarters where the high was 16 database bugs and average per quarter was 8.2 database bugs.  For the previous two years, the most database bugs fixed in a single quarter was six.

In addition to the 32 database security bugs, there are a total of 155 security bugs fixed in 44 different products.

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September 5, 2014

Oracle 12c introduces several major new security features. Data redaction is one new feature and Real Application Security (RAS) is another.  Per Oracle, RAS is the next generation Virtual Private Database (VPD) and is installed with Oracle Enterprise Edition – no additional license required. RAS is a new declarative and granular authorization model and is designed to be an application security platform for end-to-end application security. For those developing APEX applications (also installed with Enterprise Edition), RAS will certainly become an integral tool.

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July 28, 2014

UTL_FILE_DIR is the database initialization parameter the Oracle Database uses to determine what operating system directories and files PL/SQL packages, functions, and procedures may read from or write to when using the standard UTL_FILE database package.  The directories specified in the UTL_FILE_DIR parameter may be accessed by any database user, which can be a security issue.  In Oracle 9iR2, Oracle released new functionality called “Directories” that provides a more secure and robust capability to access operating system directories and files.  The advantages of using Directories over

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July 11, 2014

In our blog post on 16-May, we provided guidance on Java JAR signing for the E-Business Suite. We are continuing our research on E-Business Suite Java JAR signing and will be presenting it in a forthcoming educational webinar. Until then we would like to share a few items of importance based on recent client conversations -

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July 2, 2014

Maintaining a secure Oracle E-Business Suite implementation requires constant vigilance. For the desktop clients accessing Oracle E-Business Suite, Integrigy recommends running the latest version of Java 7 SE.  Java 7 is fully supported by Oracle with Public Updates through April 2015 and is patched with the latest security fixes. Most likely in late 2014 we anticipate that Oracle will have released and certified Java 8 with the Oracle E-Business Suite.

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June 26, 2014

Clients often contact Integrigy requesting assistance to protect their sensitive data. Frequently these are requests for assistance to locate and then encrypt sensitive data. While encryption  offers protection for sensitive data, it by no means solves all security problems. How to protect sensitive data (and how to verify the trust of privileged users such as database administrators with sensitive data) requires more than just encryption.

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June 6, 2014

Integrigy has received a lot of great feedback about our Framework for logging and auditing the Oracle E-Business Suite.

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May 30, 2014

Kerberos authentication support in the Oracle Database is now included with all editions of the Oracle Database.  Previously, Kerberos authentication required an Oracle Advanced Security Option license.  Since this licensing change, we have been working with our clients to design and implement database user authentication using Kerberos and Active Directory.  This allows for authentication and verification of database users using Active Directory without implementing other identify management products or servers.  Although, it does require both server and client-side configuration.

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