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Oracle's oops on security flaw

Oracle's oops on security flaw
Oracle's oops on security flaw 

By Joris Evers 
Staff Writer, CNET
April 11, 2006

Oracle accidentally let slip details last week on a security flaw it
has yet to patch.

The business software giant is usually secretive about security and
critical of researchers who publicly discuss flaws in Oracle products.  
But on April 6, it itself published a note on its MetaLink customer
Web site with details about an unfixed flaw, Alexander Kornbrust, an
independent researcher who specializes in Oracle security, said on his
Web site on Monday.

Oracle confirmed the accidental posting. "Information regarding a
security vulnerability was inadvertently posted to MetaLink," a
representative for the company said Tuesday. "We are currently
investigating events that led to the posting."

The flaw in question affects versions through of
Oracle's database software running on any operating system. Not only
did the posting reveal details of the vulnerability, it also included
computer code to test it, said Kornbrust, who runs Germany's Red
Database Security and often hunts for bugs in Oracle products.

The MetaLink posting was taken down. Yet, because of the posting,
Kornbrust believes the issue is now public knowledge and the bug
information should be shared publicly.

"Database administrators and developers who missed the note on
MetaLink should know of this vulnerability, in order to avoid or
mitigate the risk, if possible, while waiting for a patch from
Oracle," Kornbrust said.

The flaw opens the door to privilege escalation, meaning that database
users with limited privileges could take advantage of it to gain more
rights. "Depending on the architecture of the application, it is
possible to modify data, escalate privileges--for example, change
database passwords," Kornbrust wrote.

The vulnerability arises from an error in handling certain "views"  
created by unprivileged users, according to security analysts at the
French Security Incident Response Team. The FrSIRT deems the issue of
"moderate risk."

Oracle has no fix publicly available, but the next edition in its
regular Critical Patch Update is scheduled for release on Tuesday. "We
plan to provide our customers a patch that addresses this
vulnerability in a future quarterly Critical Patch Update," the Oracle
representative said, but could not say if it would arrive next week.

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