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Oracle Fraud Alert

December 3, 2007 by Donald K. Burleson

Oracle technology consulting is very lucrative and we are seeing a continuous stream of fraudsters and fake Oracle experts on the web, all with glowing biographies and seemingly unimpeachable credentials.  However, upon closer examination, these "experts" are fakes, questionable experts who carefully hide any verifiable evidence of experience and expertise.

Today we see many foreign Oracle experts who are not what they claim.  Many are underemployed neophytes who grant themselves the title "Oracle Expert" in hopes of passing-off their at-home research as real-world job experience. 

It's very easy to be taken-in by a fake Oracle expert because they have all of the appearances of expertise replete with flashy websites and superlative biographies.  But the posers are not only overseas, there are cases of phony Oracle experts right here in the USA.
 

Fake Oracle experts in the USA

Here is a sample e-mail from a fake Oracle expert that I received in 2004.  Upon investigation, I discovered that there was no Robert Allen, and the real person was a fellow who had ripped-off consumers for tens of thousands of dollars using the fabricated name of Robert Allen:

From: Robert Allen - Oracle Security Consultant <reply@orasecure.com>
Subject: I recorded it incase you missed it
Date: Thu, 28 Oct 2004 16:40:28 +0000
 
Hi. I just wanted to send you a quick note to inform you that my "Hack-Proofing the Oracle Database" online class sold out in less than 48 hours.

Many of you have been calling my office to ask when the next course will be offered, but unfortunately I'm booked for security consulting assignments straight through March, 2005.

But I do have some good news however...

I recorded my entire "Hack-Proofing the Oracle Database" onto 5 digital video CD-ROMs; and I even had the course workbook printed up.

I have 100 copies of this package available if you're interested. You can get all the info on this package here:

http://www.orasecure.com/hackproof/hackproof_cdrom.html
 
Thanks for your time,
Robert Allen
Senior Oracle Security Consultant
OraSecure, Inc.

Here is a reproduction of Robert Allen's web site where you see his phony photo and stellar biography:


Robert Allen
Oracle Security Expert

My name is Robert Allen, and Iím the Founder of OraSecure, Inc.  With over 9 years of trial and error from painstaking research, Iím now acknowledged as a promising top expert in the field of Oracle database security.

For the past 7 years, I've consulted dozens of Fortune 1000 companies on all areas of Oracle Database Administration.  The areas I've focused my most attention to are Oracle Security Features and Security Audits. 

I've personally audited over 400 Oracle instances over the years, as well as taught and mentored more than 80 DBAs to do the same.

 

I did some digging and discovered that there is no Robert Allen.  This fraud was reported in eWeek magazine, and read about the unsavory details and the criminal ramifications of being a fake Oracle expert:

Haskins' activities are clearly illegal, though, according to Andrew August, a business attorney and principal partner of San Francisco-based Pinnacle Law Group LLP.

"What he's doing is clearly illegal under a potpourri of federal and state statutory schemes," August said. That includes laws such as the CAN-SPAM Act, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, and the California Uniform Trade Secrets Act. But the likelihood of Haskins being brought to justice is small, August said, given the comparatively negligible amounts he owes his customers. "The amounts are so small," he said. "What capable consumer rights lawyer is going to take him on?"

 

Since these people are rarely prosecuted, what can Oracle professionals do to prevent to be taken-in my a fake Oracle expert?

The Merriam Webster dictionary defines an expert as someone "having, involving, or displaying special skill or knowledge derived from training or experience".  Hence, all real Oracle experts will publish their experience, and you should avoid any alleged experts who does not produce verifiable credentials.

Question authority!

Remember, you have the absolute right to question the authority of anyone who proclaims themselves as an Oracle expert.  Don't take anything on faith, and demand evidence and verifiable proof of expertise.

In my experience, all real Oracle experts will brag about their resume (CV), while questionable Oracle experts will become evasive and resort to name-calling and insults. 

Read my important notes on verifying the credibility of Oracle experts on the web.

In sum, always avoid any web sites with anonymous experts and anyone who claims to be an expert but does not publish their resume.  Real Oracle experts are proud of their experience, and their expertise is easy to verify.


Reader Comments:

There is one other egregious made by poseurs that is really easy to spot. They come up with an oracle 'best practices' document that has no relationship to the reality of large Oracle environment. One classic 'best practice' is to use the ip address in the listener.ora and tnsnames.ora instead of a dns alias. Try doing that on a site that has multiple domains...

--
Oracle ACE



 

 
 
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Note: This Oracle documentation was created as a support and Oracle training reference for use by our DBA performance tuning consulting professionals.  Feel free to ask questions on our Oracle forum.

Verify experience! Anyone considering using the services of an Oracle support expert should independently investigate their credentials and experience, and not rely on advertisements and self-proclaimed expertise. All legitimate Oracle experts publish their Oracle qualifications.

Errata?  Oracle technology is changing and we strive to update our BC Oracle support information.  If you find an error or have a suggestion for improving our content, we would appreciate your feedback.  Just  e-mail:  and include the URL for the page.


                    









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