Oracle Releases Out-of-Cycle Update for Blackhat Database Server Flaw

If you’re an Oracle administrator, hopefully you saw the text version of WatchGuard Security Week in Review a few weeks ago, where I mentioned Oracle’s big quarterly patch day for July 2012. If you missed that, you better check out their July CPU update, and apply all its patches. However, even if you managed to apply Oracle’s July patches, they have one more update in store for Database Server administrators.

At Blackhat this year, David Litchfield disclosed a bunch of new, unpatched security flaws in Oracle’s flagship Database Server. Litchfield is a renowned database security researcher, whose proof-of-concept exploit code was used to create the SQL Slammer worm years ago. Around a decade ago, Oracle launched an “unbreakable” marketing campaign, touting the security of their database products. In response, Litchfield spend the next few years at Blackhat pretty much decimating this “unbreakable” claim.

This year, Litchfield returned to form and disclosed more vulnerabilities in Oracle’s Database Server software. None of them are quite as severe as some of the buffer overflow flaws he’s demonstrated in the past; in fact Oracle had already patched many of them. However, Litchfield did demonstrate one new privilege elevation vulnerability, which allows any database user to gain SYS privileges (essentially complete control of your database).

The good news is, only a valid, authenticated user can exploit this flaw. This means an attacker needs to already have valid credentials on your Database Server to exploit it. Nonetheless, if you manage an Oracle Database Server, you should check out Oracle’s out-of-cycle alert, and apply the patch it recommends. — Corey Nachreiner, CISSP (@SecAdept).

About Corey Nachreiner

Corey Nachreiner has been with WatchGuard since 1999 and has since written more than a thousand concise security alerts and easily-understood educational articles for WatchGuard users. His security training videos have generated hundreds of letters of praise from thankful customers and accumulated more than 100,000 views on YouTube and Google Video. A Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), Corey speaks internationally and is often quoted by other online sources, including C|NET, eWeek, and Slashdot. Corey enjoys "modding" any technical gizmo he can get his hands on, and considers himself a hacker in the old sense of the word.

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