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Don Burleson Blog 







Oracle Worm may become a threat

Oracle Tips by Burleson Consulting
Don Burleson


Oracle security has become more critical than ever before with malicious hackers exploiting "human error" security holes, caused by poor DBA security practices.  This is noted in the book "Oracle Privacy Security Auditing", where Arup Nanda (Oracle DBA of the Year), made the scary prediction of possible of web-based Oracle viruses and worms


The "Voyager" worn is a primitive "proof of concept" worn that was delivered from a British e-mail list titled "Trick or Treat Larry".  This is not a dangerous worm, but it could be enhanced to become self-propagating.  Click below to see the original publication and the PL/SQL source code of the Voyager worm.

The Voyager worm exploits human errors (i.e. an under-trained Oracle DBA) has not changed the Oracle user accounts from their default passwords.  Here are the attack passwords, from the Voyager worm source code:

if iLoop = 1 then
             username1 := 'system';
             password1 := 'manager';
           else if iLoop = 2 then
             username1 := 'sys';
             password1 := 'change_on_install';
           else if iLoop = 3 then
             username1 := 'dbsnmp';
             password1 := 'dbsnmp';
           else if iLoop = 4 then
             username1 := 'outln';
             password1 := 'outln';
           else if iLoop = 5 then
             username1 := 'scott';
             password1 := 'tiger';
           else if iLoop = 6 then
             username1 := 'mdsys';
             password1 := 'mdsys';
           else if iLoop = 7 then
             username1 := 'ordcommon';
             password1 := 'ordcommon';


While primitive, this worm could be enhanced to seek-out user and password information in tnsnames.ora and listener.ora files, making it a real threat.  MOSC has issued this warning about the Voyage worm, recommending immediate checks for all databases.

MOSC suggests these protective acts, checking for "sloppy" security:

"1)    Account lock and expire the password for unused default database accounts.  Review infrequently used database accounts and consider account locking, password expiry or setting a more complex password.

2)    For database releases prior to Oracle Database 10g Release 1: you should set an administrative password for the TNS listener.  For Oracle Database 10g Release 1 and later releases, the default authentication mode for the TNS listener is local OS authentication, which requires the TNS listener administrator to be a member of the local dba group.  Setting a password for the TNS listener in Oracle Database 10g Release 1 and higher simplifies administration.  However, setting a password requires good password management to prevent unauthorized users from guessing the password and potentially gaining access to privileged listener operations.  Customers may wish to consider not setting a password for the TNS listener starting with Oracle Database 10g Release 1 because the TNS listener is secure by default without a password in this and later releases.

3)    Revoke the create database link system privilege from database users who don't require it.  Please note that the default Oracle database role resource is granted the create database link system privilege.   Please note that the default Oracle database role connect is also granted the create database link system privilege through Oracle Database 10g Release 1. (The connect role was modified in Oracle Database 10g Release 2 to only be granted the create session system privilege.)

4)    Establish password management policies inside the Oracle database to enforce password complexity, length and expiration.

5)    Consider changing the default port for the Oracle TNS Listener process from 1521."

According to DBA Village, the new worm is written in PL/SQL and these are the Oracle worm access details.  It appears that the most vulnerable database are those prior to Oracle 10g (where default passwords were used), and where the DBA forgot to lock-down with new passwords:

  1. Obtains the IP address of the server (using the utl_indaddr procedure)

  2. Scans all IP addresses in the same network range, Voyager checks for active listeners on other servers (using the utl_tcp procedure to issue "lsnrctl stat" commands)

  3. Each active listener responds with the $ORACLE_SID, and Voyager now has the three things needed to access a database via TNS (protocol, IP Address, ORACLE_SID).

  4. Voyager then issues a series of logon attempts using the Oracle installers default user/ID combinations (prior to 10g).  These would include "system/manager" and sys/change_on_install". 

This article suggests that the Voyager worm might become a threat if it was enhanced to become self-propagating and deployed:

"Especially worrying about this Oracle concept worm, compared with the SQL Slammer pest, is that it actually enters the database and can meddle with the data stored in it, said Shlomo Kramer, CEO of security vendor Imperva. "Today, the payload is not malicious. But adding a malicious payload to it can do enormous damage," he said.

A variant of the worm could erase information or send it somewhere else, Kramer noted. "The potential impact of this type of database worm can be very serious," he said.

A hardened database would be protected against database worm attacks, according to Kornbrust. "A real malicious Oracle worm could destroy thousands of Oracle databases within hours and cause a damage of several billion dollars," he said.





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