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Don Burleson Blog 







authid current_user Tips

Oracle Database Tips by Donald BurlesonApril 11, 2015

Question:  I need to understand the authid current_user syntax, and when to use authid current_user.

Answer:  The authid current_user is used when you want a piece of code (PL/SQL) to execute with the privileges of the current user, and NOT the user ID that created the procedure.  This is termed a "invoker rights", the opposite of "definer rights".

The authid current_user is the opposite of authid definer.

In the same sense, the authid current_user is the reverse of the "grant execute" where the current user does not matter, the privileges of the creating user are used.

PL/SQL, by default, run with the privileges of the schema within which they are created no matter who invokes the procedure. In order for a PL/SQL package to run with invokers rights AUTHID CURRENT_USER has to be explicitly written into the package.

To understand the authid current_user, consider this type definition:

CREATE TYPE address_t
   address_line1 varchar2(80),
   address_line2 varchar2(80),
   street_name varchar2(30),
   street_number number,
   city varchar2(30),
   state_or_province varchar2(2),
   zip number(5),
   zip_4 number(4),

   country_code varchar2(20));

The authid current_user clause tells the kernel that any methods that may be used in the type specification (in the above example, none) should execute with the privilege of the executing user, not the owner.

The default option is authid definer, which would correspond to the behavior in pre-Oracle8i releases, where the method would execute with the privileges of the user creating the type.

See this example of authid current_user to understand how this syntax causes invoker rights, which, in turn, changes the behavior of the PL/SQL code.

WARNING: Writing PL/SQL code with the default authid definer, can facilitate SQL injection attacks, because an intruder would get privileges that they would not get if they used authid current_user.



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