Re: Opinion: Complete failure of Oracle security response and utter neglect of their responsibility to their customers Oct 06 2005 06:41PM
Cesar (cesarc56 yahoo com)
I support David 100% and I would like to add a few
comments (I can't avoid doing this :)):

I remember reading an article where Larry Ellison said
that Oracle database
server were used by FBI, CIA, USSR goverment, etc. he
referenced that as
saying our software is the most secure, top goverment
agencies from the most
powerful nations use it. If you hear or read that it
sounds great and if you
were looking for a database server at that moment
maybe you would run to buy
Oracle software, the same when you hear and read
Oracle Unbreakable
everywhere. What Larry Ellison says it is very easy to
say but it is also
very difficult to prove. It seems that this kind of
statements have been
useful for Oracle since the company continues doing
the same, "just
I can say that we at Argeniss break Oracle database
server all the time, we
are tired of breaking Oracle, it's so easy, Oracle
software is full of
security vulnerabilities and this is nothing new, most
security researchers
know about this and also the bad guys who are actively
exploiting the
vulnerabilities. But I can say this and I can also
prove it, we have found
more than a hundred vulnerabilities and we can show
them to people. I wonder
if Larry Ellison can prove all the statements he says
or Oracle people say.

What I have seen is Oracle doesn't care much about
security, it's just a PR
issue for Oracle. When you report a vulnerability to
Oracle you get an
answer saying we will take a look at this, then months
or sometimes years
after the initial vulnerability report they release
(or not) a patch , that
sometimes doesn't work, but what is amazing is that
they just fix the bugs
you reported they don't audit similar bugs to fix all
at once, I can't
understand this, we are working for free for them and
they are not doing any
Basically when Oracle security problems arise, Mary
Ann Davison and Oracle
PR team try to deviate attention and blame anyone
without focusing on the
real problem: "Oracle insecurity". Oracle security has
not improved over the
last years, everytime there are more and more holes,
also security patches
are having holes, QA seems that it is not being done
at all!. But everytime
you hear Oracle people, they will say "Oracle
Unbreakable", "An oracle d/b
has not been broken into in 15 years...", "We have 14
certifications", "Security researchers are evil",
"some people complain
it's too secure - literally cannot break into it..."
etc. but you never will
hear and also see something like: "We are working hard
on improving security
because we are doing this and this", "We are fixing
all the bugs", "We want
to work with security resarchers", "We stopped
development to fix the
security bugs"... etc.
I think that Oracle will start to suffer more and more
because security
problems, Oracle reminds me Microsoft some years ago,
when MS had a lot of
security issues that were reflected on sales, until
Oracle doesn't see side
effect on sales or customers start to pressure,
everything will be the same.

I'm seriously thinking to release some Oracle remote
0day next time I hear Larry o Mary saying bullshit to
shut their mouths.

Related info:


Cesar Cerrudo.
CEO & Founder.
Argeniss - Information Security

--- David Litchfield <davidl (at) ngssoftware (dot) com [email concealed]> wrote:

> Dear security community and Oracle users,
> Many of my customers run Oracle. Much of the U.K.
> Critical National
> Infrastructure relies on Oracle; indeed this is true
> for many other
> countries as well. I know that there's a lot of
> private information about me
> stored in Oracle databases out there. I have good
> reason, like most of us,
> to be concerned about Oracle security; I want Oracle
> to be secure because,
> in a very real way, it helps maintain my own
> personal security. As such, I
> am writing this open letter
> Extract from interview between Mary Ann Davidson and
> IDGNS: "What other advice do you have for customers
> on security?"
> Davidson: "Push your vendor to tell you how they
> build their software and
> ask them if they train people on secure coding
> practices. "
> Now some context has been put in place I can
> continue.
> On the 31st of August 2004, Oracle released a
> security update (Alert 68
> to
> address a large number of major security flaws in
> their database server
> product. The patches had been a long time in coming
> and we fully expected
> that these patches would actually fix the problems
> but, unfortunately this
> is not the case. To date, these flaws are still not
> fixed and are still
> fully exploitable. I reported this to Oracle a long
> time ago.
> The real problem with this is not that the flaws
> Alert 68 supposedly fixed
> are still exploitable, but rather the approach
> Oracle took in attempting to
> fix these issues. One would expect that, given the
> length of time they took
> to deliver, these security "fixes" would be well
> considered and robust;
> fixes that actually resolve the security holes. The
> truth of the matter
> though is that this is not the case.
> Some of Oracle's "fixes" simply attempt to stop the
> example exploits I sent
> them for reprodcution purposes. In other words the
> actual flaw was not
> addressed and with a slight modification to the
> exploit it works again. This
> shows a slapdash approach with no real consideration
> for fixing the actual
> problem itself.
> As an example of this, Alert 68 attempts to fix some
> security holes in some
> triggers; the flaws could allow a low privileged
> user to gain SYS privileges
> - in other words gain full control of the database
> server. The example
> exploit I sent to Oracle contained a space in it.
> Oracle's fix was to ignore
> the user's request if the input had a space. What
> Oracle somehow failed to
> see or grasp was that no space is needed in the
> exploit. This fix suggests
> no more than a few minutes of thought was given to
> the matter. Why did it
> take 8 months for this? Further, how on earth did
> this get through QA? More,
> why are we still waiting for a proper fix for this?
> Here is another class of thoughtless "fix"
> implemented by Oracle in Alert
> 68. Some Oracle PL/SQL procedures take an arbitrary
> SQL statement as a
> parameter which is then executed. This can present a
> security risk. Rather
> than securing these procedures properly Oracle chose
> a security through
> obscurity mechanism. To be able to send the SQL
> query and have it executed
> one needs to know a passphrase. This passphrase is
> hardcoded in the
> procedure and can be extracted with ease. So all an
> attacker needs to do now
> is send the passphrase and their arbitrary SQL will
> still be executed.
> In other cases Oracle have simply dropped the old
> procedures and added new
> ones - with the same vulnerable code!
> I ask again, why does it take two years to write
> fixes like this? Perhaps
> the fixes take this long because Oracle pore through
> their code looking for
> similar flaws? Does the evidence bear this out. No -
> it doesn't. In those
> cases where a flaw was fixed properly, we find the
> same flaw a few lines
> further down in the code. The DRILOAD package
> "fixed" in Alert 68 is an
> example of this; and this is not an isolated case.
> This is systemic. Code
> for objects in the SYS, MDSYS, CTXSYS and WKSYS
> schemas all have flaws
> within close range of "fixed" problems. These should
> have been spotted and
> fixed at the time.
> I reported these broken fixes to Oracle in February
> 2005. It is now October
> 2005 and there is still no word of when the "real"
> fixes are going to be
> delivered. In all of this time Oracle database
> servers have been easy to
> crack - a fact Oracle are surely aware of.
> What about the patches since Alert 68 - the
> quarterly Critical Patch
> Updates? Unfortunately it is the same story. Bugs
> that should have been
> spotted left in the code, brand new bugs being
> introduced and old ones
> reappearing.
> This is simply NOT GOOD ENOUGH. As I stated at the
> beginning of this letter,
> I'm concerned about Oracle security because it
> impinges upon me and my own
> personal security.
> What is apparent is that Oracle has no decent bug
> discovery/fix/response
> process; no QA, no understanding of the threats; no
> proactive program of
> finding and fixing flaws. Is anyone in control over
> at Oracle HQ?
> A good CSO needs to more than just a mouthpiece.
> They need to be able to
> deliver and execute an effective security strategy
> that actually deals with
> problems rather than sweeping them under the carpet
> or waste time by blaming
> others for their own failings. Oracle's CSO has had
> five years to make
> improvements to the security of their products and
> their security response
> but in this time I have seen none. It is my belief
> that the CSO has
> categorically failed. Oracle security has stagnated
> under her leadership and
> it's time for change.
> I urge Oracle customers to get on the phone, send a
> email, demand a better
> security response; demand to see an improvement in
> quality. It's important
> that Oracle get it right. Our national security
> depends on it; our companies
> depend on it; and we all, as individuals depend on
> it.
> Cheers,
> David Litchfield

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