[ISN] Oracle Patch Fixes 23 'Critical' Vulnerabilities

InfoSec News isn at c4i.org
Thu Jan 20 04:45:47 EST 2005


By Ryan Naraine 
January 19, 2005 

Oracle Corp. late Tuesday issued a "critical patch update" to address
23 security holes in its database and application server products.

The patches were released as part of Oracle's first quarterly patching
cycle and fix a series of undisclosed flaws ranging from manipulation
of data, exposure of sensitive information, privilege escalation and
denial-of-service attacks.

The vulnerabilities affect users of the Oracle Database 10g Release 1,
Oracle9i Database Server, Oracle Application Server, Oracle9i
Application Server, Oracle Collaboration Suite and Oracle E-Business
Suite and Applications Release.

In an advisory (PDF file), Oracle said the first quarter patch update
is a cumulative update that also contains nonsecurity fixes that are
required (because of interdependencies) on the security fixes.

Secunia, a private security research outfit, rates the flaws as
"moderately critical" and warned that exploitation could lead to
PL/SQL injection attacks.

Oracle's alert did not provide specific information on the attack
scenarios and Next Generation Security Software Ltd., one of the
private firms that reported the vulnerabilities, said it would
withhold details about the flaws until April 18.

"This three-month window will allow Oracle database administrators the
time needed to test and apply the patch set before the details are
released to the general public," NGS Software officials said.

Secunia's advisory contains minor details of the bugs, which include a
boundary error in the Networking component that can be exploited by
malicious database users to crash the database via a specially crafted
connect string.

Another error in the Spatial component can potentially be exploited to
disclose information, manipulate data, or cause a DoS condition.

The next batch of patches from Oracle is scheduled for April 12.

Oracle had originally announced it would release patches on a monthly
schedule, but the company shifted away from that plan in November in
favor of the quarterly cycle.

In the past, Oracle has been criticized for its lackadaisical approach
to addressing critical security flaws. At the Black Hat security
conference in Las Vegas last year, NGS Software pushed the envelope by
releasing details on more than two dozen security holes in Oracle
products that had not been fixed.

At the time, NGS Software said Oracle was aware of the vulnerabilities
- some of them critical - for several months.

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