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Don Burleson Blog 








Allegations of 42 new un-patched Oracle security exposures called a "publicity stunt"

June 2, 2005

In this eWeek article by Lisa Vaas, we see serious allegations made by Red-Database-Security gmbh  about 42 new security exposures within Oracle.,1759,1821232,00.asp?kc=enews052705dtx1k0000599

Vaas references Alexander Kornbrust's claims that he used Oracle MOSC keyword searches to uncover serious un-patched Oracle security exposures:

"Within 42 hours I was able to find 42 bugs with security potential (e.g., denial of service, SQL Injection, )," RDS' Alexander Kornbrust said from Germany via an e-mail conversation. "I stopped after 42 bugs." He said he then reported the bugs to Oracle.

These bugs are not addressed by Oracle's latest security patch set, Kornbrust said.

However, Oracle and top-rated security experts have disagreed with Mr. Kornbrust's allegations:

Oracle could not provide formal feedback to the report by the time this story was posted, although a spokesperson did point out some inaccuracies in the report regarding which and how many Oracle employees have access to search the global repository of technical knowledge and to query the bug database for known issues.

However, some security experts say that there is no reason to panic.  Donald K. Burleson, author of the bestselling book "Oracle Privacy Security Auditing" notes that these claims are too outlandish to be credible:

It might be possible to find an Oracle client who is experiencing a vulnerability by clicking on the name of the forum poster's e-mail address, and I agree that it is a good idea to use anonymous or third-party e-mail addresses with all MOSC accounts, especially when discussing a security vulnerability.

This reports strikes me of a publicity stunt.  By their own admission, Red-Database-Security was searching inside the Oracle MOSC support forums, a place where Oracle employees are very quick to react to security issues. 

Any script kiddie can run searches on terms like "hacker" and "SQL injection" on MOSC, but to come to the conclusion that these MOSC forums contain "sensitive information" is ludicrous.

The most bizarre part of this allegation is that Kornbrust's is "disturbed" because MOSC contains a rich repository of bug information!

What makes the vulnerabilities particularly disturbing, security experts say, is that Oracle has built up such a rich repository in its MOSC forum.

It's also worth noting that Red-Database-Security has published excerpts from Johnny Long's web site containing a list of Google searches that might reveal Oracle exposures over the web.

Regardless of the real threat, it is clear that using search engines to uncover information has become a very hot topic in the IT industry.


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