Category Archives: 12cR2

Oracle CPU / PSU Announcement October 2017

The Oracle open world 2017 is over, the dust just settled down. A perfect time for Oracle to release the October critical patch advisory. With not less than 270 new security vulnerability fixes across the Oracle products it seems to be a rather huge update. From the DB perspective it is nothing unusual. It contains 6 new security fixes for vulnerabilities on Oracle Database 11.2.0.4, 12.1.0.2 and 12.2.0.1. 2 of the vulnerabilities can be used remotely without authentication, but none of the vulnerabilities affect Oracle client installations. Overall the highest CVSS Rating is 8.8 for Oracle Database Server 11.2.0.4 on Windows respectively 7.8 for 12.1.0.2 on Windows and Linux. According to Oracle the following components are affected:

  • Core RDBMS
  • Java VM
  • XML Database
  • RDBMS Security
  • Spatial (Apache Groovy)
  • WLM (Apache Tomcat)

Not all of these components are installed by default. It is therefore recommended that you check your database environment to see if it is necessary to apply this critical patch update. OK, I guess Core RDBMS is part of you database setup 🙂

For Oracle Fusion Middleware the situation looks somehow different. The Critical Patch Update includes not less than 40 fixes for vulnerabilities. Up to 26 vulnerabilities may be remotely exploitable without authentication and are rated with the highest CVSS rating of 9.8.

More details about the patch will follow soon on the Oracle Security Pages.

By the way, Oracle improved the table which lists the affected products and components in there advisory. Oracle Database is not a the top of the table any more.

Articles in DOAG Red Stack Magazin

A while ago I wrote two articles for the DOAG Red Stack Magazin. In the meantime both articles have been published. For this reason I use the opportunity to make the PDF versions of the articles available on oradba.ch. The articles are written in German and available as Trivadis version as well Red Stack version. Although the articles versions differ only in the number of typos and layout.

None of the articles are currently available in english. On request I will write also articles about Oracle Unified Directory in English in the future. However, currently I still have a lot of ideas for blog posts about database security, enterprise user security and unified directory on my to-do list. And blog posts I usually write in english… 🙂

DOAG Webinar Oracle 12.2 New Security Features

A couple of days ago I’ve successfully finished the DOAG Webinar on Oracle 12c Release 2 new Security Feature. It was a great opportunity to discuss the security enhancements in the latest Oracle database release. This release introduces some new security features that simplify the secure operation of on-premises or cloud-based databases. Especially the online encryption of tablespaces with TDE.

Based on initial experiences and insights, the following topics have been discussed:

  • Authentication
  • Authorization
  • Database Auditing with Unified Audit
  • Encryption with Transparent Data Encryption
  • As well as an overview of further innovations in database security

The slides and the recording of the webinar is available in German over the following links:

EU GDPR, MS SQL Server 2016 and Oracle Security

I’ve just updated the list of my public appearances and planned events. For once, no just Oracle Events 🙂 I’ll speak about the new EU GDPR and its impact on databases in a Trivadis regional customer event together with my colleague Stephan Hurni. Beside this two events I’ll hold a webinar on Oracle 12c Release 2 new security features. This webinar is organised by DOAG.

Unfortunately all these events are in german. No matter, I’m about to register the one or other topic at upcoming Call For Papers. If the speeches get approved I’ll update my list of public appearance.

Oracle 12.2.0.1 On-Premises soon available

It seems that Oracle brings us the new release with the first “spring rays”. Tonight Oracle has Updates the MOS Note 742060.1 Release Schedule of Current Database Releases. It now includes as well sections for Oracle public cloud releases, on-premises engineered systems as well on-premises server releases. In particular the section on-premises server release has now a release date for Oracle 12.2.0.1. According to this, Oracle 12.2.0.1 will be available for Linux x86-64, Solaris SPARC and Solaris x86-64 by mid of march. For the other platforms like Windows, AIX etc we have to wait until Q2. As posted earlier the documentation for the new release is available since a couple of weeks. There is no reason not to start with the engineering work for the new release.

By the way, there are some other changes as well on this MOS Note. The attentive reader has seen, that Oracle has again extended their Free Extended Support for 11.2.0.4 until Dec 31, 2018. Unfortunately there are some contradictions with other MOS Notes like 161818.1 and 1067455.1. On these notes the Free Extended Supports ends earlier. You probabely should clarify your support status before planing to keep your 11.2.0.4 production database until end of 2018.

Some references and links to MOS Notes:

Oracle CPU / PSU Announcement January 2017

Oracle has published the first Critical Patch Update in 2017. It’s quite a huge update with not less than 270 new security vulnerability fixes across the Oracle products. For the Oracle Database itself are 5 security fixes available respectively 2 security fixes for the Oracle Database Server and 3 security fixes for Oracle Secure Backup and Oracle Big Data Graph.
Neither of the two vulnerabilities for Oracle Databases are remotely exploitable without authentication. None of these fixes are applicable to client-only installations.

The highest CVSS Base Score of vulnerabilities affecting Oracle Database Server is 9.0. The following components are affected:

  • OJVM
  • RDBMS Security / Local Logon

Over all the PSU for Oracle Database Server itself is relatively small. The tests for the Trivadis CPU-Report will show if there are any issues with this PSU respectively SPU.

It seems that a bunch of Patch’s are not yet available. Oracle list the follow Post Release Patches beside the PSU and SPU for Oracle Database Server 11.2.0.4.

Patch Number Patch Platform Availability
24968615 Database Proactive Bundle Patch 12.1.0.2.170117 HP-UX Itanium (64-Bit) & AIX (64-Bit) Expected: Wednesday 18-Jan-2017
25395111 Oracle Application Testing Suite BP 12.5.0.1 All Platforms Expected: Wednesday 18-Jan-2017
25115951 Microsoft Windows BP 12.1.0.2.170117 Windows 32-Bit and x86-64 Expected: Tuesday 24-Jan-2017
25112498 Oracle JavaVM Component Microsoft Windows Bundle Patch 12.1.0.2.170117 Windows 32-Bit and x86-64 Expected: Tuesday 24-Jan-2017
24918318 Quarterly Full Stack download for Exadata (Jan2017) BP 12.1.0.2 Linux x86-64 and Solaris x86-64 Expected: Thursday 26-Jan-2017
24918333 Quarterly Full Stack download for SuperCluster (Jan2017) BP 12.1.0.2 Solaris SPARC 64-Bit Expected: Thursday 26-Jan-2017

More details about the patch will follow soon on the Oracle Security Pages.

Oracle 12 Release 2 Documentation available

Oracle just released the documentation for Oracle 12c Release 2. It seems that most of the new security features are available as discussed in my presentation at DOAG SIG Security in Düsseldorf on the 18th of october. See docs.oracle.com for the documentation bookshelf.

Yet a short summary of new security features

Encryption

  • TDE Tablespace Live Conversion
  • Fully Encrypted Database
  • Support for ARIA, SEED, and GOST Encryption Algorithms in TDE
  • TDE Tablespace Offline Conversion

Enforcing Application Security in the Database

  • RAS Session Privilege Scoping
  • RAS Column Privilege Enhancements
  • RAS Schema Level Policy Administration
  • RAS Integration with OLS

Improving Security Manageability, Administration, and Integration

  • Oracle Virtual Private Database Predicate Audit
  • Oracle Database Vault Policy
  • Oracle Database Vault Simulation Mode Protection
  • Oracle Database Vault Common Realms and Command Rules for Oracle Multitenant
  • Privilege Analysis Enhancements
  • Privilege Analysis Results Comparison
  • Redaction: Different Data Redaction Policy Expressions
  • Redaction: New Functions Allowed in Data Redaction Policy Expressions
  • Redaction: Additional Data Redaction Transformations
  • Automatic KDC Discovery When Configuring OCI Clients
  • Automatic Provisioning of Kerberos Keytab for Oracle Databases
  • Role-Based Conditional Auditing
  • Inherit Remote Privileges

Improving Security Posture of the Database

  • SYSRAC – Separation of Duty for Administering Real Application Clusters
  • Transparent Sensitive Data Protection Feature Integration
  • Requiring Strong Password Verifiers by Default

Improving User Authentication and Management

  • Automatic Locking of Inactive User Accounts

Modernizing Network Authentication and Encryption

  • Kerberos-Based Authentication for Direct NFS

There is much more just on security. The full list of new features is available in the New Features Guide 12c Release 2 (12.2). In particular the new features for TDE are worth, having a closer look. So let’s discuss the good, the bad and the mad….

If you plan to take a training have a look at the Trivadis Training. We will announce a Trivadis Oracle Database 12c Release 2 Techno Circle as soon as the software for 12c Release 2 is officially released.