Code can be scary when you simplify it

Disclaimer: I’m not posting to make me look better, we’ve all written code that we’re later ashamed of, and I’m no different!

This is some code from a system I was maintaining some time ago. I’ve kept it since then because it illustrates a number of things NOT to do:

FUNCTION password_is_valid
  (in_password IN VARCHAR2)
-- do NOT copy this code!!! ...
  RETURN VARCHAR2 IS
  l_valid VARCHAR2(1);
  l_sql VARCHAR2(32000);
  CURSOR cur_rules IS
    SELECT REPLACE(sql_expression
                  ,'#PASSWORD#'
                  ,''''  (more...)

Patching Time

Just a quick note to point out that the October PSU was just released. The database has a few more vulnerabilities than usual (31), but they are mostly related to Java and the high CVSS score of 9 only applies to people running Oracle on windows. (On other operating systems, the highest score is 6.5.)

I did happen to glance at the announcement on the security blog, and I thought this short (more...)

Read Privileg in 12.1.0.2 (ohne Select for Update)

Zu den eher unverständlichen Entscheidungen, die man bei Oracle im Zusammenhang der Definition von Privilegien gemacht hat, gehörte sicherlich die Zuordnung des Rechts zur Ausführung der Operation SELECT FOR UPDATE zum einfachen SELECT-Privileg. Dadurch konnten Benutzer allerlei Unfug anstellen, weil die Operation recht massive Sperren erzeugt. In 12.1.0.2 gibt es jetzt das neue READ-Privileg, das SELECT FOR UPDATE explizit nicht mehr enthält. Den Hinweis auf diese Ergänzung habe ich bei Gary Myers gefunden.

PeopleSoft and Shellshock

As many will have no doubt heard, there’s a new vulnerability that has been spotted, and there are already exploits for it in the wild.

The vulnerable systems are those running Bash – so Windows machines are safe, it’s just Unix/Linux and MacOSX.

Security Researcher Kasper Lindegaard from Secunia rates this as a bigger issue than the Heartbleed exploit discovered in April this year. “Heartbleed only enabled hackers to extract information, Bash enables hackers to execute (more...)

Enterprise User Security – Presentation Material available

On the presentations page you can find the my presentation material from DOAG regional meeting September 2014 in Munich about “Enterprise User Security”.

Using Post-Authentication to run process after APEX login

A frequent requirement, and hence frequent question on the forums is
How do I run procedure x after the user has logged in?
This is often required for such tasks as determining user access, such as populating a restricted Application Item relating to a role like F_IS_ADMIN based on the username defined in substitition string APP_USER

Those new to APEX and unfamiliar with certain concepts may consider using an Application Computation, firing "On New Instance (more...)

Avoid UTL_FILE_DIR Security Weakness – Use Oracle Directories Instead

Integrigy:

The UTL_FILE database package is used to read from and write to operating system directories and files. By default, PUBLIC is granted execute permission on UTL_FILE. Therefore, any database account may read from and write to files in the directories specified in the UTL_FILE_DIR database initialization parameter [...] Security considerations with UTL_FILE can be mitigated by removing all directories from UTL_FILE_DIR and using the Directory functionality instead.


© Eddie Awad's Blog, (more...)

Define Your Own Role for Database Target Access in EM12c

Scenario

  1. Enterprise Manager 12c (EM) installed and agents rolled out to database servers
  2. Access to EM offered to development teams with the primary purpose of allowing them to investigate application related database performance issues

Documentation

The EM documentation covers a selection of privileges you might want to grant to users in database targets in order to allow them to be used for accessing EM functionality. The privileges mentioned are:

  1. SELECT ANY DICTIONARY
  2. CREATE SESSION
  3. EXECUTE on (more...)

Unlimited Session Timeout

There are a lot of security admins out there that are going to hate me for this post. There are a lot of system administrators, developers, and users, however, that will LOVE me for this post. The code I'm about to share with you will keep the logged in PeopleSoft user's session active as long as the user has a browser window open that points to a PeopleSoft instance. Why would you do this? I (more...)

The value of audit_trail=DB,EXTENDED

I was recently reading a blog entry by Dominic Brooks regarding auditing and I was intrigued by the line referring to the audit_trail parameter being set to DB, EXTENDED

Behaves the same as AUDIT_TRAIL=DB, but also populates the SQL bind and SQL text CLOB-type columns of the SYS.AUD$ table, when available.

Nothing wrong with that and straight from the manual but I was surprised that they were CLOBS. However on looking at them they (more...)

Incompetence or Malice?

We’ve just had a leak of 900,000 national identifier numbers here in Denmark. That’s about 16% of the total population, so it’s pretty big. These numbers are unique identifiers for a person (similar to Social Security Numbers) and are a good starting point for identity theft.

Never ascribe to malice that which can adequately be explained by incompetence.

Napoleon Bonaparte

 

So how did these numbers leak? Through plain incompetence and lack of procedures. It (more...)

They Took Away My Cloud

On Monday, a U.S. judge gave Microsoft control of 22 domains owned by domain hosting service No-IP.com. Microsoft intended to filter out some domains used by malware, but promptly screwed up. The result was that millions of legitimate users could not access their servers.

This will happen again and again as infrastructure moves to centralized cloud providers. What do you think will happen if the server just above yours in the server rack (more...)

Is your database secure? Are you sure? Are you *really* sure?

Credit for finding this bug is given to Daniel Ekberg – https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=10435009. He got the official credit given by Oracle Corp for helping out with security related bugs in the January 2014 CPU. He found the bug and had the tenacity to track down and prove that it was a bug and not just a flaw in the logging mechanism where this first was indicated to occur.

Today is the day when (more...)

Oracle 12c – New SYS-level Administration Privileges

For a while now, Oracle has been moving its security model toward a more differentiated set of privileges than just SYSDBA and SYSOPER.  We saw this in 11g with the SYSASM privilege.  This is in response to the growing number of DBA shops that delineate permissions at a more granular level, even among DBAs.  Rather than saying, “Here’s my DBA team, everyone has SYSDBA,” more and more IT shops are defining DBA (more...)

Database Security Best Practices

Database administrators, by the very essence of their job descriptions, are the protectors of their organization’s core data assets. They are tasked with ensuring that key data stores are safeguarded against any type of unauthorized data access. Ensuring that data is protected on a 24 x 7 basis is a complex task. External intrusions and internal employee data thefts combine to make many IT professionals lie awake at night thinking about how they can secure (more...)

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

The above phase means “who will guard the guards themselves?” and is relevant in many security contexts.

Here in Denmark, we are currently having our own “News of the World” affair. In our case, a contractor at the payment processor handling almost all Danish credit cards was able to automatically send a tip to a journalist whenever a celebrity used his or her credit card. That makes it hard to take an incognito honeymoon (more...)

IT Defence in Depth

The Heartbleed bug has shown that security vulnerabilities can pop up everywhere. Unfortunately, many IT organizations depend on a single security layer to secure their network – and as the ineffectiveness of the Maginot Line proved, that is a risky strategy. You need multiple security layers – what soldiers call Defence in Depth.Security LayersThis illustration is from my weekly Technology That Fits newsletter – sign up here.

HeartBleed and Oracle

There are a lot of people asking about Heartbleed and how it has impacted the web.
Oracle has published  MOS Note 1645479.1 that talks about all the products impacted and if and when fixes will be available.
The following blog post is also a good reference about the vulnerability.  https://blogs.oracle.com/security/entry/heartbleed_cve_2014_0160_vulnerability



Deep Dive: Oracle WebCenter Tips and Traps!

I'm currently at IOUG Collaborate 2014 in Las Vegas, and I recently finished my 2-hour deep dive into WebCenter. I collected a bunch of tips & tricks in 5 different areas: metadata, contribution, consumption, security, and integrations:


As usual, a lot of good presentations this year, but the Collaborate Mobile App makes it a bit tough to find them...

Bezzotech will be at booth (more...)

The Art of Exploiting Injection Flaws

Sid is doing his popular course, The Art of Exploiting Injection Flaws, at this year’s Black Hat. You can find more details here. Definitely highly recommended.