Oracle "with admin" vs. "with grant" security
Oracle Tips by Burleson Consulting
Question: What is the
difference between the "with admin" option and the "with grant"
option. How do these grant option affect user access?
Answer: There is a
very distinct difference, and it's important to carefully
consider the ramifications of using either "with grant option"
or "with admin option". These option relinquish control of
the database privileges from a single database owner to multiple
users, something that must be carefully controlled to ensure
Using "with admin" and "with grant" options
are considered Oracle dangerous because if they are not managed
carefully you can have unintended side effects, resulting to a security hole.
Both the “with grant” and “with
admin” options serve to relinquish central security control, but
they are for different types of privileges.
With Grant option:
Only for object privileges, not system privileges.
Only the person who granted the privilege can revoke the privilege.
Revoked privileges can "cascade", allowing the first grantor to revoke
many subsequent grants.
With Admin option:
Using the with admin option
Any “global” privileges like roles and system privileges (e.g.
CREATE TABLE) are granted using the WITH ADMIN OPTION. For
table-specific privileges (e.g. GRANT select on emp) we use WITH
GRANT OPTION syntax. Also, revoking any grant WITH GRANT will
cascade and revoke any and all privileges assigned by the
privileged user. On the other hand, revoking someone with the
WITH ADMIN OPTION will only revoke their personal privileges,
leaving intact all granted users.
When system privileges are passed
to others using the WITH ADMIN OPTION, revoking the system
privileges from the original user will not cascade. The system
privileges granted to others must be revoked directly. In
contrast, when object privileges are passed on to others using
the WITH GRANT OPTION, the object privileges are revoked when
the grantor's privileges are revoked.
It is important to note that only object privileges will cascade
when revoked; system privileges will not.
When the WITH ADMIN OPTION or WITH GRANT OPTION has been
included in a grant to another user, the privilege cannot be
revoked directly. You must revoke the privilege and then issue
another grant without the WITH ADMIN OPTION or WITH GRANT
The "with admin" privilege
Sometime you want to grant
privileges to users and have them be able to grant those
privileges to other users. When this is the case, we include the
WITH ADMIN OPTION keyword in the GRANT command. When this
keyword is used, it will allow the user granted the privilege to
grant that privilege to other users.
Privileges that are granted WITH
ADMIN OPTION can be passed to other users. Hence, many companies
prohibit this option, and others check to ensure that all user
ID’s are proper. Here is an example of the usage of the
with admin option keyword.
WITH ADMIN OPTION;
The metadata security audit
information for users having the WITH ADMIN OPTION is located in
the DBA_SYS_PRIVS view. Read more
The "with grant" privilege
The WITH GRANT option allows you to give the user
you are assigning the privilege to grant this privilege to other users.
Only the schema that owns the object can grant privileges to that object unless
the WITH GRANT option is included in the command. Here is an example of
the use of the with grant option:
GRANT SELECT ON
WITH GRANT OPTION;
here for more on the WITH GRANT option.