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10/17/2006
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Oracle Issues Monster Security Patch

Oracle issued patches for 101 vulnerabilities in six products, including its Database Server, Application Server, and E-Business Suite, in its quarterly patch release.

In its quarterly patch release Tuesday, Oracle issued fixes for 101 vulnerabilities in several of its products and began using an emerging threat rating system.

The patch release covers vulnerabilities in Oracle's Database Server, Application Server, Application Express, Collaboration Suite, E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft Enterprise, and JD Edwards EnterpriseOne applications.

Redwood Shores, Calif.-based Oracle patched 22 vulnerabilities in Oracle Database, most of which address SQL injection or buffer overflow issues, said Amichai Shulman, CTO at Imperva, a Foster City, Calif.-based security vendor.

Shulman said several of the SQL injection vulnerabilities in this patch cycle are very similar to ones that Oracle has fixed in previous patch cycles. "This repeating of old vulnerabilities is an issue because you would have expected them to fix the issues completely by now," he said.

The Database Server issues are problematic because their backend integration with other Oracle applications such as CRM or ERP could affect those applications, Shulman said.

Oracle has also begun scoring the severity of its security flaws using the Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS), a rating standard designed to combat the confusion that sometimes stems from proprietary threat rating systems. CVSS has struggled to gain widespread adoption and Oracle's move was hailed by its proponents.

Oracle patched 35 vulnerabilities in Oracle Application Express, the vendor's free Web application development tool. Because this is an optional product, Oracle expects that most customers won't be affected, Eric Maurice, Oracle's manager for security, wrote in a post to Oracle's global product security blog.

Oracle's next quarterly patch release is scheduled for Jan. 16.

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