By Robert McMillan
IDG News Service
Database administrators now have a little added incentive to install
Oracle's latest security patches, released earlier this week.
Malicious software is now circulating that can crash an unpatched
database server, and one security expert predicted that more malware
targeting the 89 recently patched vulnerabilities is on the way.
On Thursday, code was published on the Full Disclosure security
mailing list that exploits a buffer overflow vulnerability in certain
versions of Oracle's databases.
This code could be used by attackers to bring down a database, using a
technique called an SQL injection attack, said Alexander Kornbrust, a
business director at Red-Database-Security, in Neunkirchen, Germany.
In SQL injection attacks, Web applications that work with the database
are tricked into sending malicious database queries using the SQL
The exploit could be used either by an attacker who had user
credentials on an unpatched database or by a remote attacker, using an
SQL injection attack over the Internet, Kornbrust said. "I tried the
exploit and it's working," he said in an interview conducted via
instant message. "I highly recommend customers to apply these patches
as soon as possible."
In a statement, Oracle said that versions 9i and 10g of the database
software were vulnerable to the bug, but the exploit published on Full
Disclosure affects only 10g users, according to Kornbrust.
On Tuesday, Oracle released a bundle of critical security patches that
fixed 89 bugs in its database and application servers, as well as some
PeopleSoft and J.D. Edwards applications. Oracle releases security
patches every three months as part of its security update program.
Normally, a few exploits begin circulating after each Oracle security
update, Kornbrust said.
The buffer overflow vulnerability is described as vulnerability number
DB27 on this page .
The Full Disclosure exploit code can be found here .
Oracle did not respond to requests for comment on this story.
The IDG News Service is a Network World affiliate.
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