OAUG eLearning: Oracle Critical Patch Update July 2007

This quarters Oracle Critical Patch Update (CPU) will be released on Tuesday, July 17th.   In order to provide a better understanding of the CPU, I will be presenting an Oracle Applications Users Group (OAUG) eLearning session on Thursday after the release.  The presentation will focus on the impact to Oracle E-Business Suite environments.

Thursday, July 19 at 9:00 am and 5:00 pm U.S. Eastern Time

11i: ATG RUP5 and CPU Impact

Oracle has released the latest ATG rollup RUP5 (official name is 11i.ATG_PF.H.delta.5).  From a security perspective, RUP5 is important in three regards -

  1. The ATG rollups contain a number of security enhancements
  2. RUP5 incorporates ATG CPU patches from January 2005 to January 2007
  3. Starting with the July 2007 CPU, only RUP(n) and RUP(n-1) will be supported

RUP5 Security Enhancements

Oracle 9.2.0.8 April 2007 CPU Patch Available

Oracle has released the Oracle 9.2.0.8 April 2007 Critical Patch Update (CPU) Windows 32-bit patch much ahead of scheduled April 30th date.  Media reports (here) were critical of Oracle's failure to release this patch in a timely manner due to the severity of one of the bugs affecting the database running on the Windows platform.

Oracle Critical Patch Update - April 2007 - E-Business Suite Impact

Oracle released the tenth Critical Patch Update (CPU) yesterday.  This quarter is the same as the previous nine with many patches and long hours in order to get all the security patches applied in a timely manner.  Fortunately, this quarter there are no patches required for the Oracle Application Server or Developer 6i.  For R12, Oracle has now made the Oracle Applications patches cumulative and the patch is also included in the newly released 12.0.1 patch.

11i: Encrypted Password String Disclosure

Integrigy has released an advisory regarding an undisclosed security vulnerability in Oracle Applications 11i that may allow an unauthenticated, internal attacker to obtain Oracle Applications' user account encrypted password strings, which in turn can be decrypted using previously published information. An attacker can potentially obtain either any user's password or the Oracle Applications' main database account password (APPS).

Oracle and Symantec Threat Report: Bad Counting?

Usually, I am not in the position to defend Oracle on the number of vulnerabilities fixed, but the recent Symantec Internet Security Threat Report inflated the vulnerability count for Oracle by comparing apples and oranges.   This version of the Threat Report contains a comparison of the number of vulnerabilities found in five leading relational databases (Oracle, IBM DB2, Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, and PostgreSQL).  Oracle looks really bad with 168 vulnerabilities published during the second h

Hashing Credit Card Numbers: Unsafe Application Practices

Cryptographic hash functions seem to be an ideal method for protecting and securely storing credit card numbers in ecommerce and payment applications. A hash function generates a secure, one-way digital fingerprint that is irreversible and meets frequent business requirements for searching and matching of card numbers.

R12: Updated Security Best Practices Document

Oracle has updated the "Best Practices for Securing Oracle E-Business Suite" for Release 12.  The new Metalink Note ID is 403537.1.  Overall, there are very few changes to the document and mostly the changes are only to reflect the new R12 documentation.

The most significant changes to security for R12 are

11i: Expire All User Passwords

Occasionally, there is a need to expire all application user passwords in Oracle Applications 11i.  Oracle now provides a script to expire all users passwords in 11i.ATG_PF.H RUP4.  The script is located in $FND_TOP/patch/115/sql/AFCPEXPIRE.sql.  It can be executed using SQL*Plus or as the concurrent program "CP SQL*Plus Expire FND_USER Passwords".

AFCPEXPIRE.sql is a very simple script and is a single update statement that sets the PASSWORD_DATE column to null in FND_USER.

Oracle Applications 11i and PCI Compliance

The recent OAUG "Automating Compliance Survey" (OAUG login required) showed 7% of the organizations surveyed responded as being compliant with the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS), while 19% were in the process of planning or implementing and 71% were either not planning or not sure about PCI compliance.  Having 71% of the organizations respond "not planning/not sure" seems a little high to me since

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