Security Firm: Oracle Takes Years To Fix Holes - InformationWeek
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7/21/2005
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Security Firm: Oracle Takes Years To Fix Holes

The database vendor fails to patch security holes, despite knowing about the vulnerabilities for as long as two years, an accuser says. But Oracle says it fixes holes in order of severity.

Oracle Corp. has failed to fix security flaws in its products, despite knowing about the vulnerabilities for as long as two years, a German security firm said.

Red-Database-Security GmbH reported the flaws in Oracle Reports and Oracle Forms in six advisories published July 19. The security firm specializing in Oracle products said it first notified the Redwood City, Calif., company about the flaws during a period ranging from 718 to 663 days ago.

"It seems Oracle is not interested or not able to fix these security bugs," the firm said on its homepage.

The company claimed it told Oracle three months ago that it would publish bug details after the company released its critical patch update in July. Red-Database-Security expert Alexander Kornbrust posted the security advisories after it was determined the flaws weren't fixed in the update.

Kornbrust rated three of the flaws of high risk, two of medium risk, and one low.

Oracle declined a request for an interview Thursday, but issued a statement saying that Oracle's policy is to fix vulnerabilities in order of severity, those posing the highest risk are fixed before those of lower severity.

The company, however, did not appear happy with the disclosures.

"We believe the most effective way to protect customers is to avoid disclosing or publicizing vulnerabilities before a patch or workaround has been developed," Oracle said. "We are disappointed when any details of Oracle product security vulnerabilities are released to the public before patches can be made available."

Five of the flaws are in Oracle Reports, a reporting tool that's a component of the Oracle Application Server. The sixth flaw is in Oracle Forms, also a component of the application server. The software tool is used to design and build enterprise applications.

Besides the application server, the vulnerabilities affect Oracle's Internet Application Server and Developer Suite, according to Kornbrust.

In general, the Oracle Reports flaws allow an attacker to read and overwrite any file on the application server, and run any operating system command through an uploaded report from any directory, Kornbrust said. The Oracle Forms vulnerability could also allow an attacker to run any OS command.

Oracle Reports also includes various cross-site-scripting vulnerabilities, the security expert said.

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