Oracle Critical Patch Update for October 2006 Released

Oracle has released the Critical Patch Update (CPU) for October 2006.  101 new vulnerabilities across all Oracle products are fixed in this CPU of which 45 are remotely exploitable.  The overall number is high as compared to previous CPUs, but includes a similar number of database and application server vulnerabilities.  The spike is due to 35 vulnerabilities in Oracle Application Express (formerly HTMLDB).

11i: Oracle 11i and SSO Whitepaper Updated

Oracle has updated the "Integrating Oracle E-Business Suite Release 11i with Oracle Internet Directory and Oracle Single Sign-On" whitepaper from build 3.2 to build 4.0.  This whitepaper is a detailed description of implementing Single-Sign-On for Oracle Applications 11i.  It is one of the more useful Oracle documents, especially since it covers multiple scenarios and provides details on limitations.  The scenarios include Oracle-only implementatio

11i: SQL*Net Encryption Now Certified - Finally

Oracle has finally certified the use of Advanced Security Option/Advanced Network Option for encryption of SQL*Net traffic between the database and application servers.  This certification had been promised for several years.

The Advanced Security Option (ASO) is an optional component of the Oracle Database and is an extra cost.  Advanced Networking Option (ANO) is the previous name of ASO in Oracle 8.0.x, which is also utilized in an Oracle Applications 11i configuration since Forms, Reports, and Concurrent Manager still use an ORACLE_HOME.

11i: October 2006 Critical Patch Update Requirements

Oracle is now pushing all 11.5.10 implementations even harder in terms of mandating minimum patch levels.  The October 2006 Critical Patch Update (CPU) will require at least ATG_PF.H.RUP3 and ATG_PF.H.RUP4 is recommended.  These patches are not included in the base for any 11.5.10 release including CU2.  11.5.7, 11.5.8, and 11.5.9 customers must be at the minimum baseline in

FISMA and Oracle: 2005 Report Card

The Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) of 2002 requires all government agencies to submit to the Office of Management and Budget an annual evaluation of IT security across the agency.  The overall results of these reports are complied and reported in the annual "Federal Computer Security Report Card", which scored the Federal government a D+. 

11i: Oracle DMZ Configuration Document Updated

Oracle has updated the Oracle Applications 11i DMZ Configuration document (Metalink Note ID 287176.1).  "Oracle E-Business Suite 11i Configuration in a DMZ" is the definitive reference for implementing Oracle Applications in a DMZ that is externally accessible.  All the recommendations in this document should be closely followed and appropriately penetration tested prior to implementation.  We often find significant security issues in implementatio

Unwrapping PL/SQL

There was very little press coverage regarding Oracle security from last week's Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas.  I am a little surprised about the lack of attention in the media regarding Pete Finnigan's presentation on unwrapping PL/SQL code. 

Bad Oracle Security Press Coming Soon

You may want to warn your CIO and IT Security Manager that some bad press about Oracle security will be coming later this week and next week.  The annual Black Hat conference in Las Vegas is Wednesday and Thursday of this week.  Every year this conference gets significant media exposure -- last year was the controversy regarding Cisco and Michael Lynn.  There doesn't seem to be any major headlines this year, so the press may be digging for stories.

Un-patched Oracle Database Bugs - E-Business Suite Impact

There are currently three major un-patched and published Oracle Database security bugs and all three bugs impact the Oracle E-Business Suite.  All Oracle Applications 11i implementations should review the possible impact on their installations to determine the necessary corrective action.  I don't foresee any of these bugs being fixed before the October 2005 Critical Patch Update.

Here is a quick rundown of the bugs --

Oracle Critical Patch Update - July 2006 - E-Business Suite Tech Stack Matrix

We have released our E-Business Technology Stack Support Matrix for the Oracle Critical Patch Update (CPU) July 2006.  The supported technology stack versions required by Oracle’s
Critical Patch Updates (CPU) may be different from the certified technology
stack versions.  A prime example is that is certified for Oracle Applications, but is not supported by the July 2006 CPU.  The Technology Stack support matrix highlights the differences between certified versions and CPU July
2006 required versions.

Google Source Code Bug Finder

Google is such a powerful tool and people are finding new ways to exploit its capabilities.  The newest use is to find security bugs in open source code, since much of this code is published in code repositories indexed by Google.  Google searches can look for specific file extensions (like c, pls, sql, or ora).


A frequent topic of discussion after any security assessment or review by auditors is the setting of O7_DICTIONARY_ACCESSIBILITY in Oracle Applications. 07_DICTIONARY_ACCESSIBILITY is a database initialization parameter that controls access to objects in the SYS schema.  It was originally intended to help with migrations from Oracle7 to newer versions where access to data dictionary objects is limited by default. From a pure security perspective, 07_DICTIONARY_ACCESSIBILITY should always be set to FALSE and is a very common security recommendations for Oracle Databases in general.


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