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Assessment of Oracle password algorithm

The SANS institute authors Joshua Wright and Carlos Cid have published an interesting whitepaper titled “An Assessment of the Oracle Password Hashing Algorithm”.

In the paper we see that many of the Oracle password weaknesses are explored (algorithm salting, case insensitivity) and attack vectors (rainbow tables).  The authors conclude:

“Organizations who use Oracle databases can mitigate the weakness associated with the password hashing algorithm by enforcing strong password selection policy, and by enforcing the principle of least privilege. Specifically, organizations can implement the following steps to protect the confidentiality of password hashes:

  • Use non-privileged users for web applications

  • Restrict access to password hashes

  •  Audit SELECT statements on the DBA_USERS view

  • Encrypt TNS traffic

  • Enforce a minimum password length”


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