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Security experts claim Oracle patches inadequate

In this SearchOracle article we see that despite the 50_ patches for Oracle, some security experts remain concerned about Oracle-induced vulnerabilities:

Nearly 50 vulnerabilities were fixed with Oracle Corp.'s latest quarterly volley of patches yesterday, but experts say that many critical issues haven't been addressed at all. Another concern: At least one fix issued last quarter failed to correct the issue it claimed to solve.

"Where are the large numbers of fixes expected?" asked Pete Finnigan, an Oracle expert and author of Oracle Security Step By Step -- A survival guide for Oracle security. "Alex Kornbrust and Esteban Martinez Fayo have big lists of bugs, some reported over 18 months ago, some high risk, that have still not been fixed. Will Oracle never get around to fixing these bugs?"

Some Oracle security experts are even accusing Oracle Corporation of fibbing about fixing some vulnerabilities:

According to David Litchfield, managing director at U.K.-based Next Generation Security Software Ltd., one set of vulnerabilities "fixed" by the April CPU -- a group of SQL injection bugs in DBMS_SUBSCRIBE and DBMS_ISUBSCRIBE -- was actually left unfixed. "On digging deeper you find that the actual source of the problem lies within the underlying java class files. The April CPU fails to properly load the newer patched classes, which means that these problems can still be exploited."

Litchfield also noted a Microsoft Windows-specific Oracle vulnerability that remains a threat to some Oracle shops on Windows:

"On Windows, both 32bit and 64bit, a second problem exists whereby an attacker can run arbitrary SQL by abusing the CTXSYS.DRILOAD package to gain DBA privileges. This was discovered by multiple persons and was initially fixed in August 2004. However, the April Critical Patch Update copies the updated SQL script file to the wrong directory and if previous patches [either August 2004 or January 2005] have not applied then you will still be vulnerable to this attack even if the April CPU has been applied."


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