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The Week of Oracle Database Bugs 56

os2man writes "After the Month of Browser Bugs and the Month of Kernel Bugs, December will have a Week of Oracle Database Bugs. This project will release, every day for a week, a new 0-day bug specific to Oracle in order to show the current status of its [in]security. They are currently asking for new bugs, in order to extend the publication of new exploits a few more days."
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The Week of Oracle Database Bugs

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  • Great (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Spritzer ( 950539 ) * on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @02:39PM (#16935880) Journal
    Maybe they should look at security issues with Oracle's Discoverer client as well. It's pretty sad when having "@" in your password will compromise every character that follows within your password. For example, if ODB password were Sl@shd0t! and the database to connect to were BOB, at the next login the Connect field would be filled with shd0t!@BOB. Not a huge issue, but certainly a risk if multiple people with varying permissions/responsibilities in Oracle have access to a machine with Discoverer.
  • um yeah (Score:5, Insightful)

    by stoolpigeon ( 454276 ) <bittercode@gmail> on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @02:41PM (#16935930) Homepage Journal
    without even commenting on the quality of oracle's rdbms, this statement:
    Why not the Month of Oracle Database Bugs?
    We could do the Year of Oracle Database Bugs but we think a week is enough to show how flawed Oracle software is, also we don't want to give away all our 0days:), anyways if you want to contribute send your Oracle 0days so this can be extended for another week or more.

    doesn't even make sense. They have enough to do a whole year but ask for people to send in more to extend it to a second week? Because they don't want to compromise their entire zero day horde? Sorry but I just can't take these people too seriously.
    • Not to mention the slew of grammar, punctuation, and spelling errors.
    • Bug vs. Exploit... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by msimm ( 580077 )
      They are talking about two different things. Its one thing to say: hey, I'm a DBA and Oracle has a lot of bugs. Its another to say: hey hackers! There are a whole bunch of unpatched 0day exploits [].

      Extending the week to two would be fine if it helps motivate Oracle to patch their software *before* someone makes these more trivially exploitable.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by stoolpigeon ( 454276 ) *
        but why do they need help to extend it a week if they have enough to last a year?
        • by msimm ( 580077 ) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @04:04PM (#16937912) Homepage
          They say A) they have enough bugs (erherm, not exploits) to last a year B) they also say (I won't even speculate on the quality of the comment) "we don't want to give away all our 0days".

          So whatever. They had a weeks worth of exploits and they'd like some other people to pony up so they can make it two while holding on to some super-secret exploits. 7337!

          Anyway, slamming on Oracle seems a little silly. Its software, there will be problems.
          • slamming on Oracle seems a little silly. Its software, there will be problems.

            I agree with the first sentence, I completely disagree with the second.

            Focusing just on one vendor does seem sort of school-yard-teasing childish. It would be nice if they had a better description than "they are the #1 star."

            But the fact that software has problems does not mean that those issues shouldn't be addressed. And if public embarrassment is required to force a vendor's hand, so be it (though I'm not saying that

          • When companies hold themselves out as "unbreakable" or make comments like:

            For more than 27 years, Oracle has built a reputation for delivering many of the industry's most secure solutions (

            they make themselves a target.

            I agree, software has bugs. But when a marketing department tries to imply company X is immune then if somebody going to get targeted, might as well be company X in my book.

            That Apple ad where "PC" is sick and "Mac" is all touching PC's snotrag pissed m
            • I realize Apple has a pretty good security record (way better than Oracle), but don't brag about it.

              I sometimes wonder whether Apple have got all 'look at us, aren't we great!' because they still to an extent can't get over the fact that they have a reasonably robust OS. I think many of us suffered for many years (particularly through the MacOS 7-9 period) with an OS which would happily destroy itself without the need for any exploits or viruses. A serious day's work work in Photoshop would be enough t

              • by iamacat ( 583406 )
                Do you really expect companies not to advertise their strong features that are ahead of competition? Do you think it's even good for users? If someone had bad experience with PC security, at least these ads make them aware of an alternative.
          • by dcam ( 615646 )
            Oracle has a very poor record when it comes to responding to bugs (and I mean security issues). Serious bugs have sat unpatched for over a year in the past. They also have had an antagonistic relationship with security researchers. There have been slashdot articles about this before.

            I'd go so far as to say that Oracle is worse than Microsoft when it comes to responding to vulns.
            • by msimm ( 580077 )
              Or more in the lime-light then their counterparts. We use Oracle at our shop, upgrades certainly aren't as fast, but then enterprise database systems are frequently behind firewalls and not always something they want to tinker around with.
    • Re:um yeah (Score:4, Interesting)

      by ajs ( 35943 ) <> on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @02:56PM (#16936334) Homepage Journal
      It does make sense, but it's just not very smart.

      This is a group of (or singular) kiddies who want to make Oracle look bad. That's fine, and Oracle is a big company that I'm sure can take care of itself (C&D paperwork is probably burning out toner cartriges by the gross at Oracle HQ as we speak). My concern is that folks that are good at security testing, but too young to know how to direct their efforts constructively are going to destroy their fledgling careers before they get started. Many such bright kids these days assume that they'll make a name for themselves, and then the consulting bucks will roll in. Problem is that the wrong kind of press can lead to SOME work, but far less than you would have gotten by building a reputation in the industry through the quality of your work and references.

      As with security, in the job/consulting world social engineering is often a better approach than trying to pick the lock on the front-door.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by djbckr ( 673156 )

      I was going to mod this up, but I thought I'd post instead. Oracle database work is my livelyhood. Oracle makes no qualms about the number of bugs they have. Many of them are posted for all to see on their MetaLink support site. Many of them are not public for security reasons - and well they should be.

      I've found several Oracle bugs in my dealings with the software. I create a reproduceable test-case and send it to them. They always respond with 1) this is a known bug, and it's bug #nnn; or 2) bug reproduc

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Psychotext ( 262644 )
        I think realistically a lot of this can be traced back to the "Unbreakable" marketing campaign. They set themselves up for a major fall. That said, Oracle takes far too long to patch vulnerabilities and worrying about "breaking something critical" is not a good excuse.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by djbckr ( 673156 )

          "worrying about "breaking something critical" is not a good excuse"

          Tell me, if your data was tied up in an [Oracle] database (and really, any database could be replaced between the [] for this question) and that data was key to your business processes - now we're talking about multi-billion $$$ corporations whose data is their livelyhood - and Oracle were to release a patch and all of a sudden their data started corrupting or simply stopped working. You don't call that a good excuse???

          Sorry, that doesn'

          • I'm not saying that they should break your data, don't be asinine. I'm saying that it's perfectly possible to patch in a timely manner without breaking existing functionality. Especially with the resources a company like Oracle can throw at a problem.

            I used work as an Oracle dba for a blue chip company and I find their service levels ludicrous.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by mrsbrisby ( 60242 )

        Many of them are not public for security reasons - and well they should be.

        Sir, I have a car to sell you. There have been a number of customers killed in it, but I will not tell you why, until I get around to fixing the problem.

        If I found a bug related to security, I am *certain* they would do the same, and not publish it. It would be foolish to do so. Why oh why do people like this need to publish security related bugs so everyone can get comprimised? It's simply irresponsible.

        No, it's not. If I have an Or

      • by VENONA ( 902751 )
        "...exposing flaws like this does nobody any good."

        Well, that's one side of the full disclosure debate. The other side, of course, is that some vendors once had even worse reputations for fixing security vulnerabilities than they currently do. Full disclosure evolved in part as a means of holding their feet to the fire. As far as I can tell, the jury is still out on exactly how effective full disclosure is. It's certain that vulnerabilities that are being actively exploited can still remain unpatched for an
    • uh yea.

      How much you care to bet that this hacker has a lot of Oracle stock shorted? Release the big 0-day exploits first, see the stock drop like a rock and cover on the short. Then pick it up in a little as it slowly rebounds and make more.

      One week, two weeks, the timeframe doesn't matter. It just has to be enough to make an event out of it.
      • you really think this will have an impact on the stock price? i'm thinking the people with the power to influence that wont even be aware of this. it's an interesting idea, but i doubt it would work. have to watch it that week and see what happens.
        • by Lehk228 ( 705449 )
          if they really wanted to make money shorting stocks, the right way to do it would be to release some script kiddie tools that would allow any jackass to bring down or otherwise compromise oracle based services.

          a scramble to fix bugs is costly, every major customer getting wtfpwned in a single month is MUCH more costly.
    • They certainly are not very convincing, or at least me too was not impressed. It might make a good fishing expedition though; declare a week of the X-bugs and hope those X-bugs come flowing in. Maybe someone should send in a lookalike exploit to find their intentions out.
  • 0-day (Score:5, Funny)

    by Schraegstrichpunkt ( 931443 ) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @02:48PM (#16936102) Homepage
    That word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
  • by duffbeer703 ( 177751 ) * on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @03:00PM (#16936438)
    Mess with Oracle, and this guy [] will mess with you.
  • Next (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @03:09PM (#16936646)
    I presume that will be followed by 2007, "The Year of Windows Vista Bugs"?
  • by Utopia ( 149375 ) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @03:21PM (#16936940)
    by exposing 0-day bugs other than helping bad hackers but I would love to see someone poke holes in MS SQL server.

    Its been 1 year with no known exploits in SQL Server 2005 (zero in the product lifetime) 07/sql-server-2005-1-year-and-not-yet-counting.asp x []

  • No kidding?! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by firespade ( 1030302 )
    Bugs specific to security? There are still several exploits concerning the metadata itself. And on top of that, Secunia has multiple cases of vulnerabilities concerning all versions of the Oracle Database. All the way from Database Restriction Bypassing to boundary errors leading to buffer overflows by user initiated malicious attacks. Try harder Oracle.. try harder. Anthony
  • Why don't Larry ellison imdemnify people against lost revenue because of bugs in Oracle?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by mrsbrisby ( 60242 )
      Why don't Larry ellison imdemnify people against lost revenue because of bugs in Oracle?
      To get to the other side?
    • Because with a couple hundred corporations losing millions an hour, it would only take one big bug to bankrupt them?
  • by emil ( 695 ) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @04:29PM (#16938462)

    The final CPU for the database release comes out in January. It's highly unlikely that anything revealed in this effort will be fixed for

    That's an important release... it's the last one (that's supported) that will talk to Oracle 7 or early v8 databases (as a client). My company has thousands of win32 clients rolled out, and a fair number of servers supporting some critical apps (think Peoplesoft). was a great release. Small, not a lot of cruft. I wish it (and we) weren't hanging in the breeze. DB2 customers are lucky for their long support.

  • by Tawnos ( 1030370 ) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @05:34PM (#16939718)
    Not necessarily a security bug, but it can be annoying. This comes from the project description, as a warning when trying to do natural joins for the project.
    This query:

            select ordid, lineno, orderdate
                      , descrip "Description"
                      , total
            from ord natural join item natural join product

    is evaluated incorrectly in Oracle 10g (rel.

    Compare its output with the correct results generated by this query:

              select ordid, lineno, orderdate
                        , descrip "Description"
                        , total
              from item natural join product natural join ord

    or this:

            select ordid, lineno, orderdate
                      , descrip "Description"
                      , total
            from ord natural join (item natural join product)

    or this:

            select ordid, lineno, orderdate
                      , prodid
                      , descrip "Description"
                      , total
            from ord natural join item natural join product

    This solution:

            select ordid, lineno, orderdate
                      , descrip "Description"
                      , total
            from (ord natural join item) natural join product

    does not work either. The optimizer insists on doing a cartesian product between ORD and PRODUCT.

    This is a new bug. It does not exist in Oracle 9i, which evaluates all queries correctly.
  • I'm taking a database class right now and a fellow student discovered a bug with the way Oracle 10g does natural joins. My professor says this bug wasn't in Oracle 9. Way to go regression testing!
  • The Oracle database certainly has its share of security holes. But so does every piece of software. So what.

    Whilst some parts of the Oracle Server can be exposed to clients, in my experience in Oracle (for 10 years) generally a back end Oracle Server is hidden so far within the data centre behind so many firewalls that it would be hard to get near it.

    What causes issues is that generally Oracle userids and passwords are stored in freetext somewhere in order to access the database by an application. Thi
  • by Guido69 ( 513067 ) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @11:52PM (#16944816) Homepage
    "© Copyright 2004 Argeniss. All Rights Reserved."

    Must have been for 7i. Bet the response from Oracle will be something along the line of upgrade to 10g.
  • by iamacat ( 583406 )
    These days databases are seldom exposed to Internet, so security exploits based on OCI or SQL problems are not important. Might as well disclose security exploits from within a driver loaded into kernel. They should disclose some application server bugs.

You know, Callahan's is a peaceable bar, but if you ask that dog what his favorite formatter is, and he says "roff! roff!", well, I'll just have to...