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...)

Installing NGINX on RHEL 5/6 (Centos and Oracle Linux too)


I’m an huge NGINX fan. Nginx pronounced “Engine-X” is an open source Web server and a reverse proxy server for HTTP, SMTP, POP3 and IMAP protocols, with a strong focus on high concurrency, performance and low memory usage. Nginx is awesome… really. I use it since 0.6 beta and never (more...)

how to secure CMAN against CVE-2012-1675 – or an easier method than ASO

In the Oracle DBA World at the moment CVE-2012-1675 is a great issue. Oracle announced some methods how to secure existing systems. But these are sometimes not that easy, and there is no backport for older systems.
As I investigated the problem how to secure a connection manager I was hinted at Note:1455068.1.
The solution is somewhat easy: Only allow incoming connections to your systems. e.g.

In a well designed environment where you can separate your DB Servers from others at low network layers, a set of CMAN (more...)

No more cleartext-passwords in Scripts – Oracle Secure External Password Store (SEPS)

Gone are the day when cleartext passwords had to be stored in scripts for Oracle database access. The solution to this requirement is “Oracle Secure External Password Store (SEPS)”. This article will give a short introduction and a practical example of the solution.

Key facts:

  • no Advanced Security Option (License) necessary
  • every unix-account, who has access to the wallet can use it to log on to the contained databases without a password! Therefore prevent other unix-accounts from accessing your wallet! (chmod, chown)


  • Oracle Client: Unix-Account, who wishes to connect to the database without providing a password needs to (more...)

restore DBMS_SCHEDULER.CREATE_CREDENTIAL cleartext password

If you want to use Oracle file watcher, you need to Create a Credential. As there a password needs to be stored in the database, Oracle tries to save it in a secure way. But as the password must be decrypted for the purpose to login on the file watchers agent side, it is not safe at all:
The credentials are stored with DBMS_SCHEDULER.CREATE_CREDENTIAL. Here an example:

  credential_name => 'local_credential',
  username => 'oracle',  password => 'welcome1');
  credential_name => 'local_credential2',
  username => 'oracle2', password => 'welcome1');

It's quite easy to see the values (more...)

OBIEE11g SampleApp OID doesn’t start

Yep, I did again :-(.

After playing around with the new sampleapp107 I managed to crash the VM. After a reboot the OID refused to start up. It seemed that because there was still an active status record in the ODS schema, the OPMN couldn’t find anything to start.

Solution: truncate the "ODS"."ODS_PROCESS_STATUS" and  "ODS"."ODS_GUARDIAN" tables in your database repository.

(Not sure if the "ODS"."ODS_GUARDIAN"  is really necessary…. Please correct me if I’m wrong)

Till Next Time

Red Hat firewall for dummies

Sometimes I need to open for communication on a port in the local firewall on a Linux box. Until now I have relied on the lokkit command or if a GUI is available system-config-securitylevel.

I recently had some situations where lokkit was not working, so I decided to dig a (more...)

Installing Wireshark and sniffing http communication on Red Hat

We had a situation where we were calling an external Web service that required custom http headers. When our request reached the Web service the customer http headers had disappeared. We did not know if the problem was with the OSB, our Internet proxy or the programmer :-) To find out (more...)

How to deal with DBMS_RLS

| Feb 7, 2011

How to deal with DBMS_RLS?


These last weeks I am trying to get the VPD option (Virtual Private Database) enabled for my application. This time as a developer with no DBA or SYS privileges. I am used to being a DBA for the databases I work on and am used to being able to get the fullest out of the Oracle database. For one, because I think Oracle provides us with a great deal of built-in features that do things more efficiently than we can do ourselves (more efficient, built-in kernel code) and also especially because it seems useless (more...)

Should we ban anonymity on the Internet?

In an Information Security article a few months back, Bruce Schneier (author of Schneier on Security) and Marcus Ranum put some points forward for and against internet anonymity. I have to admit that I agree with Schneier and find Ranum's argument quite weak. He appears to suggest that the (more...)

Oracle Critical Patch Update – April 2010

The 2nd critical patch update for 2010 (CPU April 2010) has been released by Oracle yesterday. Critical patch updates mostly contain fixes to security vulnerabilities plus it would have non-security fixes too. This critical patch update contains 47 new security fixes across all products which includes 7 for Oracle database. For the first time, CPU includes patches/fixes for Sun products. Please review the following URL to see if the product you are using requires this patch or not.

The next critical patch update (CPU) would be coming in July 2010.

Peligro inminente, ¡Dios nos coja confesados!

Para los que aún no están enterados, se ha hecho pública una vulnerabilidad muy seria para quienes están trabajando con Oracle 10g o superior. Esta vulnerabilidad permite que un usuario con el mínimo privilegio de crear una sesión pueda tener acceso irrestricto a los archivos del servidor en el cual se está ejecutando la base de datos Oracle. Si quieren saber a qué nos estamos enfrentando a continuación les muestro lo fácil que es ganar (more...)

Your hosted application is a virus vector

We are all used to seeing SaaS as an acronym for Software as a Service. It also doubles as another acronym for the non-functional features of a SaaS architecture. When you're providing a hosted service there are a number of non-functional features that need to be considered such as Scalability, (more...)

Discoverer with EBS R12 – Sheet contains no data for custom Oracle eBusiness Suite Responsibility

So you're working with Discoverer 10g integrated with the Oracle eBusiness Suite on Release 12. You've installed and set everything up per Metalink/MOS Note 373634.1 "Using Discoverer 10.1.2 with Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12" plus created a custom application and responsibility to have it's own menu items corresponding to your Discoverer Workbooks/Worksheets.

You login to your new responsibility and click on your new menu entry that you created per Metalink/MOS Note "How to Create a Link to a Discoverer Workbook in Apps R12" and what do you get when you query subledger data such as Payables Invoices, (more...)