The Balance of Business

In every business, there is a balance between business goals and various impediments.

The Balance of Business

You need to make sure that you don’t allow legal, QA, security and other internally-focused concerns tip the scale towards paralysis. There is more in this week’s edition of my newsletter “Technology That Fits” – sign up here.

You don’t know what happens

Suddenly, our offshore colleagues could not access the database. We scrambled to find a solution, and and it soon transpired that the central security function had rolled out out a security policy upgrade the night before. Unfortunately, our offshore colleagues were connected to the network in an uncommon way, so the new security policy cut them off.

You don’t know what will happen when you change a system. Enterprise IT landscapes have reached a complexity (more...)

Oracle Database Security Assessment

Data Security has taken a front seat in terms of IT Security lately. Database security is an area of information security that is concerned with the use of security controls to protect databases. Organizations are trying to protect their databases from both internal and external threats. 

In this regard, Oracle has put up an online Database Security Assessment on their website. You may now check how secure your database is by answering few simple (more...)

The Age of Transparency

It seems that Boing just lost a 4 billion dollar deal to supply fighter jets to Brazil, because the Brazilians were miffed that the NSA spied on them.

You also live in a transparent world. If the NSA was unable to weed out Edward Snowdon in their hiring procedure, do (more...)

Control Your Information

It appears that international credit bureau company Experian was inadvertently selling private information to online criminals posing as “private investigators”. These criminals then used Social Security numbers, birthdays and drivers license records to commit identify theft. Ironically, Experian is also selling protection against identity theft to private customers…

Do you know (more...)

Oracle Forms and Java 7u51

Java 7u51 is scheduled for release in January. It will have some consequences for you Forms installation that you need to address.

As far as I know there is no problems with using 7u51 on the server side, only on the client side.


Jar signing

7u51 requires you to sign all RIAs (Applets and Web Start applications).

Oracle already signs the standard jar (more...)

WebLogic Server and entropy

After input from Jacco H. Landlust and Edwin Biemond I have rewritten my post about entropy.


Entropy pool

In computing you often need random numbers. They are used for encrypting stuff but also for lots of other things.

For Linux servers random numbers are default provided by the /dev/random device. /dev/random is a pool of random bits (more...)

Fix for oradebug disable auditing available (

2 days ago I gave a presentation “Oracle 12c from the attackers perspective” at the DOAG SIG Security. I learned some interesting things, especially that a fix for the Oracle oradebug “disable auditing” problem is available since 9 months.

Oradebug allows to run OS commands and to enable/disable Oracle SYSDBA (more...)

Tightening Security with SELECT ANY DICTIONARY in Oracle 12c

Developers and users sometimes request the SELECT ANY DICTIONARY system privilege to enable them to view various data dictionary tables.  This may be fine for querying DBA_TABLES, etc, but the Oracle data dictionary contains a LOT of information.  Some of the views/tables are compromising from a security standpoint. (more...)

How One Man Killed the Cloud

While I was not surprised that the U.S. intelligence agencies monitor web activity, I was surprised at the scale revealed by the Edward Snowdon leaks.

If there are still American cloud providers that do not routinely provide the NSA with wholesale access to their customers’ data, it will only (more...)

Create a CA, issue server/client certificates and test them via Apache

Here is a quick way of creating your own CA and issue server and client certificates via OpenSSL.

I will test the certificates via the Apache HTTP Server by configuring one and two-way SSL.

I use Oracle Linux 5.

You should of cause only use this for test scenarios.

Install (more...)

Protect the Apache HTTP Server against CRIME SSL/TLS attacks

It is now possible to protect Apache on both Windows and Red Hat servers against CRIME SSL/TLS attacks.

I have updated my Hardening the Apache HTTP Server post accordingly.

Using the Apache HTTP Server as a forward proxy to the Internet

Often you do not want servers in your internal network segments to be able to access the Internet directly.
One way to get controlled access to the Internet is to place an Apache HTTP Server in a DMZ network segment. Internal servers can then use the Apache server as a (more...)

SSL Server Certificates – Lessons learned

It is not difficult to create an SSL/TLS certificate and configure an Apache HTTP Server to use it. But I found that there are some things you need to know that does not necessarily make much sense. Here are some lessons learned and a couple of tips.

Intermediate and Root (more...)


These are some amazing statistics…

Auditing users in WebLogic Server

If you do a default installation of the WebLogic Server user activity is not audited. WebLogic has a build in Auditing Provider but it has to be enabled.

The Audit Provider can log these events.

To enable it via the Admin Console got to Security Realms => myrealm => Providers (more...)

Protect your servers against brute force SSH attacks


I bet if any of you have an exposed server to an internet connection, without properly firewall protection, that your server is under heavy fire from hackers around the “world”… By the world I mean mostly China and Russia ssh attacks. If you’re curious, on Linux you can check the (more...)

Dark Reading – Database Security

I was interviewed for a nice article about database security on Dark Reading. The interesting question, I think, is not wether to invest in DB security. To me, it’s a given that you have to do it (even though some customers still don’t agree). The question is – how will the threat landscape change if [...]

side channel attack on ORA-00942

Oracle Databases has a powerful set of grants and permissions. One of the easy philosophies behind it is just to hide anything a user is not allowed to see. Technically this leads to an error message
ORA-00942: table or view does not exist.
More precisely it should give a text like table or view does not exist or you are not allowed to access it.
For an ordinary user/schema separation there might be no big difference: If user A can not read table B.TAB it's of no value for user A whether the object does not exist or is just not (more...)

Oracle ADF with SSO – The Definitive Guide

by Fábio Souza & Eduardo Rodrigues Introduction We know. It’s been a looooooong time again. But once you read this post, we are quite sure you’ll be happy we took the time to write it. And it’s also...

This is a summary only. Please, visit the blog for full content (more...)