Tag Archives: Presentation

Oracle 18c new Security Features

Today I had the opportunity to give a presentation on Oracle 18c new Security Features at the SOUG day in Baden. 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 new central managed user with MS Active Directory.

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

  • Create schema only accounts
  • Integration of Active Directory services with Oracle Database
  • Encrypt sensitive credential data in the data dictionary
  • Write Unified Audit Trail records to SYSLOG or the Windows event viewer
  • Use Oracle Data Pump to export and import the Unified Audit Trail
  • Authentication and certification parameters
  • Enterprise User Security Manager (EUSM)
  • User defined master encryption key
  • Keystore for each Pluggable Database
  • User defined master encryption key
  • Enhancements to Oracle Database Vault simulation mode
  • Grant Data Pump-Database Vault authorizations to roles
  • Oracle Database Vault support for Oracle Database Replay

The Killer feature in this release is definitely the centrally managed user with its simple MS Active Directory integration. It is an ideal solution to simplify the user management in small / midsize environments. For larger and more complex environments it makes more sense to engineer central user management using Oracle Enterprise User Security. Many other improvements are due to Oracle’s cloud strategy. Necessary and meaningful but not earth-shattering.

The presentation is available in English over the following links:

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:

Trivadis Schwaben Gipfel – Die neue EU Datenschutzverordnung

Just finished my first presentation at the Trivadis Schwaben-Gipfel in Stuttgart together with Florian van Keulen and Aleksander Widera. It is about the new European General Data Protection Regulation (EU GDPR) and some few considerations on its impact on Databases. The slides are available for download  Schwaben-Gipfel Die neue EU Datenschutz Verordnung.pdf.

Some impression for the event and my presentation.


DOAG Databank 2016

Just finished my presentation about Enterprise User Security at the DOAG Datenbank 2016 in Düsseldorf. It is about how to set up and use Enterprise User Security with Oracle Unified Directory. The slides are available for download  DOAG__EUS_mit_OUD_Oehrli.pdf. Thanks to Florian I can also offer some, ok one “impressions” from my presentation 🙂 As promised in my presentation, I’ll post a few more information from my engineering and tests on Oracle Unified Directory in the next weeks. All of them will be tagged with Oracle Unified Directory.


DOAG SIG Security Mannheim 2016

Bit more than two weeks ago I finished my presentation about Security Probleme und deren Risikobewertung at the DOAG SIG Security in Mannheim. It is about Database and Data Classification, Risk Assessment and how Risks could be minimized. The slides are available for download  DOAG_SIG_Security_Security_Wieviel_darf_es_sein.pdf.

DOAG SIG Security Munich 2015

Just finished my presentation about Unified Audit at the DOAG SIG Security in München. It is about Oracle Unified Audit and a few considerations for migrating old standard audit to new policy based unified audit. The slides are available for download  DOAG_SIG_Security_Oracle_Unified_Audit.pdf.

Some impression for the event and my presentation.

Oracle 12c new password verify function

Even with Oracle Database 12c, the quality of the database passwords is not enforced by default. A password verify function with the corresponding password resource limits has to be developed individually. As a basis one can use the script  utlpwdmg.sql to setup the default password resource limits. The script is provided by Oracle and is used to update the default profile. It has been updated for Oracle Database 12c, but it still does not run automatically when creating a database. The 12c DBCA is missing a flag or a radio button to select something like extended standard security settings as this was known from 11g.

New Password Resource Limits

Without modification,  utlpwdmg.sql updates the profile DEFAULT, which is the default profile for all users. The following limits are the same as of Oracle Database 11g except a different password verify function.

Resource Name Limit Description
PASSWORD_LIFE_TIME 180 Sets the number of days the user can use his current password.
PASSWORD_GRACE_TIME 7 Sets the number of days that a user has to change his password before it expires.
PASSWORD_REUSE_TIME UNLIMITED Sets the number of days before which a password cannot be reused.
PASSWORD_REUSE_MAX UNLIMITED Sets the number of password changes required before the current password can be reused.
FAILED_LOGIN_ATTEMPTS 10 Specify the number of failed attempts to log in to the user account before the account is locked.
PASSWORD_LOCK_TIME 1 Specify the number of days an account will be locked after the specified number of consecutive failed login attempts.
PASSWORD_VERIFY_FUNCTION ora12c_verify_function PL/SQL password complexity verification function to enforce password complexity.

In the comment of the script you find other password resource limits. Recommendations from Center for Internet Security (CIS Oracle 11g).

Resource Name Limit
PASSWORD_VERIFY_FUNCTION ora12c_verify_function

Recommendations from Department of Defense Database Security Technical Implementation Guide (STIG v8R1).

Resource Name Limit
PASSWORD_VERIFY_FUNCTION ora12c_strong_verify_function

New Functions

The function has been cleaned up by Oracle. As before, there are the two functions verify_function (10g) and verify_function_11G (11g). New there are four more functions for 12c, ora12c_verify_function and ora12c_strong_verify_function and two helper functions complexity_check and string_distance.


This function calculates the Levenshtein distance between two strings ‘s’ and ‘t’ or a bit simpler how much do two strings differ from each other. The Levenshtein algorithms has already be used in the old verify_function_11G. It is now just a function for itself to be easier used in custom password verify functions.

differ := string_distance(old_password, password);


This function verifies the complexity of a password string. Beside the password string it accepts a few value to describe the complexity. Nothing basically new but it makes it a bit easier to define custom password verify functions.

  • chars – All characters (i.e. string length)
  • letter – Alphabetic characters A-Z and a-z
  • upper – Uppercase letters A-Z
  • lower – Lowercase letters a-z
  • digit – Numeric characters 0-9
  • special – All characters not in A-Z, a-z, 0-9 except DOUBLE QUOTE which is a password delimiter

Verify if the password has at least 8 characters, 1 letter and 1 digit.

    IF NOT complexity_check(password, chars => 8, letter => 1, digit => 1) THEN
    END IF;

Verify if the password has at least 9 characters, 2 upper/lower case character, 2 digits and 2 special characters.

   IF NOT complexity_check(password, chars => 9, UPPER => 2, LOWER => 2,
                           digit => 2, special => 2) THEN
   END IF;


This function is the new 12c password verify function. It enforce a similar respectively slightly stronger password complexity as verify_function_11G. verify_function_11G just checked for DB_NAME or ORACLE with 1 to 100 attached. e.g. oracle1 or oracle83. With the new function DB_NAME or ORACLE may not be part of the password at all. The following is verified

  • Password at least 8 characters
  • at least 1 letters
  • at least 1 digits
  • must not contain database name
  • must not contain user name or reverse user name
  • must not contain oracle
  • must not be too simple like welcome1
  • password must differ by at least 3 characters from the old password


This function is provided to give stronger password complexity. It considers recommendations of the Department of Defense Database (STIG) with the following limits.

  • Password at least 9 characters
  • at least 2 capital letters
  • at least 2 small letters
  • at least 2 digits
  • at least 2 special characters
  • password must differ by at least 4 characters from the old password


Links all around Critical Patch Update:


Oracle Database 12c brings a slightly enhanced  utlpwdmg.sql script which can much easier be adapted to custom requirements. Nevertheless a DBA has to define a password verify function himself or run  utlpwdmg.sql. Oracle does not enforce passwords by default. It is recommended to define different profiles for different user groups e.g. DBA, App Users, Schema Owner etc. and to use as well a password verify function. The examples in  utlpwdmg.sql can and must be adapted to fulfill minimal security requirements.

Oracle 12c New Security Features

I’ve just uploaded the slides for my lecture Oracle 12c new security features, as I had promised this in my previous posts. (See also DOAG 2013 Datenbank or DOAG SIG Security). The slides is a consolidation of my presentations on the New Security Features in latest generation of Oracle Database and does no reflect 1:1 the slides at the different events.

Yet a short summary of new security features

  • Oracle Data Redaction, Advanced Security feature to prevent display of sensitive data.
  • Support for Secure Hash Algorithm SHA-2 for DBMS_CRYPTO and the password hash.
  • New unified auditing and audit policies.
  • Privilege Analysis, to analyse who is using which privileges and clean up authorization.
  • New administration privileges like SYSBACKUP, SYSDG and SYSKM to reduce the dependence on SYSDBA and improve separation of duty.
  • Database Vault persistent protections, DB Vault does not longer depend on executables.

There is much more just on security. The full list of new features is available in the New Features Guide 12c Release 1 (12.1). Oracle 12c is a release with so many security innovations since long time. So let’s discuss the good, the bad and the mad….

If you plan to take a training have a look at the Trivadis Oracle Database 12c Techno Circle.

DOAG SIG Security

Just a couple of hours ago I’ve lecture a presentation about the latest Generation of Database Technology at the DOAG SIG Security in München. It is a sneak preview on a few upcoming security improvements. Unfortunately I do not yet have the permission to provide the presentation for download. But I will make the download link available once the dust settles on the latest Generation of Database Technology

so stay tuned.

SOUG Special Intrest Group Baden March 21st

In about two weeks I will participate at the SOUG special interest group at Baden. I will present a paper entitled “New Security Features in latest generation of Oracle Database“. Where latest generation of Oracle Database does not stand for an other Oracle 11g release. But that’s an other story…

The aim of the presentation is to provide a range of information on new security features as they could be released in with latest generation of Oracle Database. It covers the following possible new features.

  • Data Redaction
  • Unified Datenbank Auditing
  • Role and Privilege Analysis
  • Improved Database Vault
  • Database Application Security Architecture
  • Improved Key Management
  • New OS Roles

Have a look at the SOUG Webpage for a detailed Agenda of the Event and the location. Looking forward to see you there.

Due to the fact that this presentation contains preliminary information, the slides will not be available for download. It is a must to personally attend the SIG SOUG 🙂 If you do not have time to participate at the SOUG event, you have a second chance later this year. I’ve planned a similar presentation for the DOAG Event in Düsseldorf. More on that later.