Security Blogs

Compartmentalised Oracle Security

Pete Finnigan - Wed, 2016-06-15 17:35

I have been teaching security classes about Oracle Security for many years and they are very popular and I teach many classes per year around the world; mostly in the UK and EEC but I also venture to the Middle....[Read More]

Posted by Pete On 24/05/16 At 12:43 PM

Categories: Security Blogs

New Oracle Security Paper on Non-Production and Delphix

Pete Finnigan - Wed, 2016-06-15 17:35

I was asked by Delphix earlier this year to review their product with a particular focus on Oracle security of course. I wrote two papers; the first about Data Masking and Delphix and the second about securing data in non-production....[Read More]

Posted by Pete On 23/05/16 At 11:23 AM

Categories: Security Blogs

Oracle Security And Delphix Paper and Video Available

Pete Finnigan - Wed, 2016-06-15 17:35

I did a webinar with Delphix on 30th March 2016 on USA time. This was a very good session with some great questions at the end from the attendees. I did a talk on Oracle Security in general, securing non-production....[Read More]

Posted by Pete On 01/04/16 At 03:43 PM

Categories: Security Blogs

3 Days of Oracle Security Training In York, UK

Pete Finnigan - Wed, 2016-06-15 17:35

I have just updated the public Oracle Security training dates on our Oracle Security training page to remove the public trainings that have already taken place this year and to add a new training in York for 2016. After the....[Read More]

Posted by Pete On 31/03/16 At 01:53 PM

Categories: Security Blogs

Oracle Data Masking and Secure Test Databases

Pete Finnigan - Wed, 2016-06-15 17:35

My daily work is helping my customers secure their Oracle databases. I do this in many ways from performing detailed security audits of key databases to helping in design of secure lock down policies to creating audit trails to teaching....[Read More]

Posted by Pete On 14/03/16 At 08:45 AM

Categories: Security Blogs

PeopleSoft Security Patches

The process of applying security patches starts with identifying which patches to apply. For PeopleSoft, security patches need to be considered for both the application and the major technical components. The application of security patches, referred to by Oracle as Critical Patch Updates (CPUs), for one component DO NOT apply security patches for the other components.

For example, PeopleTools CPU patches DO NOT include database CPUs – applying one will not automatically apply nor include the other. The same holds for WebLogic and Tuxedo CPU patches.

CPUs for PeopleTools releases are provided for up to 24 months after the next minor release is generally available. The following table will assist in analyzing your PeopleTools CPU levels certification status with other key PeopleSoft technical components:



PT Generally Available Date

PT CPU Delivered through









Jan 2014



Jan 2015










  • WebLogic 10.3.6.x is supported through December 2018
  • WebLogic is supported through 6/2016
  • WebLogic is supported through 12/2017 and will be the terminal release of 12.1.x
  • Tuxedo support dates: 10.3 12/2016, 12.1.3 in 2020 all 1
  • 1.x and 12.1.1 end in 2018

If you have questions, please contact us at

Michael A. Miller, CISSP-ISSMP, CCSP


PeopleSoft Database Security

PeopleSoft Security Quick Reference


Oracle PeopleSoft, Oracle Critical Patch Updates
Categories: APPS Blogs, Security Blogs

PeopleSoft Security

Throughout the summer, Integrigy will be releasing new research on PeopleSoft security. This research focuses on the secure configuration of PeopleSoft and includes both the application and the major technical components such as the database (Oracle RDBMS), WebLogic and Jolt/Tuxedo. Hopefully, these blog posts will be useful.

If you have questions, please contact us at

Michael A. Miller, CISSP-ISSMP, CCSP

Oracle PeopleSoft
Categories: APPS Blogs, Security Blogs

BOF: A Sample Application For Testing Oracle Security

Pete Finnigan - Wed, 2016-06-01 17:05

In my Oracle security training classes I use a couple of sample applications for various demonstrations. I teach people how to perform security audits of Oracle databases, secure coding in PL/SQL, designing audit trail solutions and locking down Oracle. We....[Read More]

Posted by Pete On 10/03/16 At 11:07 AM

Categories: Security Blogs

Two New Oracle Security Presentations Available

Pete Finnigan - Wed, 2016-05-25 16:50

I attended the UKOUG conference last week Monday to Wednesday in Birmingham. This is the first year for three years that it has been back at the ICC in the center of Birmingham. The last two years have seen the....[Read More]

Posted by Pete On 14/12/15 At 08:54 PM

Categories: Security Blogs

Oracle Security Training In York

Pete Finnigan - Wed, 2016-05-18 16:35

We ran a five day Oracle Security training event in York, England from September 21st to September 25th at the Holiday Inn hotel. This proved to be very successful and good fun. The event included back to back teaching by....[Read More]

Posted by Pete On 22/10/15 At 08:49 PM

Categories: Security Blogs

New Presentation - Building Practical Oracle Audit Trails

Pete Finnigan - Wed, 2016-05-18 16:35

I wrote a presentation on designing and building practical audit trails back in 2012 and presented it once and then never again. By chance I did not post the pdf's of these slides at that time. I did though some....[Read More]

Posted by Pete On 01/10/15 At 05:16 PM

Categories: Security Blogs

Protect Your APEX Application PL/SQL Source Code

Pete Finnigan - Wed, 2016-05-18 16:35

Oracle Application Express is a great rapid application development tool where you can write your applications functionality in PL/SQL and create the interface easily in the APEX UI using all of the tools available to create forms and reports and....[Read More]

Posted by Pete On 21/07/15 At 04:27 PM

Categories: Security Blogs

Oracle Security Vulnerability Scoring Metric Change (CVSS)

No, Oracle security vulnerabilities didn’t just get a whole lot worse this quarter.  Instead, Oracle updated the scoring metric used in the Critical Patch Updates (CPU) from CVSS v2 to CVSS v3.0 for the April 2016 CPU.  The Common Vulnerability Score System (CVSS) is a generally accepted method for scoring and rating security vulnerabilities.  CVSS is used by Oracle, Microsoft, Cisco, and other major software vendors.

As we have discussed previously, CVSS v2 did score Oracle security vulnerabilities for the database, middleware, and applications lower than operating system and network component vulnerabilities.  Contrary to what many security researchers claim, the problem is with the CVSS standard, not manipulation of the scores by Oracle.  CVSS v2 puts a premium on the ability to compromise the entire operating system (i.e., root account) or device.  For most Oracle security vulnerabilities, across all products, it is very difficult to compromise the root operating system account by exploiting an Oracle Database, Fusion Middleware, or application (Oracle E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft, etc.) security bug.  Although, there are some exceptions mostly limited to the Oracle Database running on Microsoft Windows Server, which allow compromise of the administrator account.

To account for this limitation in CVSS, Oracle included in the CPU advisory matrices for informational purposes only a “Partial+” to indicate where the entire database, middleware server, or application could be compromised.  However, this was not reflected in the score since the CVSS standard says a “Complete” impact “… is total information disclosure, resulting in all system files being revealed.”  As a result, Oracle CVSS v2 scores for critical or severe bugs tended to be 6.5 for the Oracle Database, 7.5 for Fusion Middleware, and 6.4 for applications like the Oracle E-Business Suite and PeopleSoft.

CVSS v3.0 changes the scoring to put more of an emphasis on the asset or component being protected (i.e., database or application).  The key CVSS definition has changed from “system” to “impacted component.”  The scoring algorithm also includes more granularity for privileges required to exploit and the scope of the exploit, such as can a database attack compromise the underlying operating system.

The Oracle CVSS v3.0 scores will be much higher now, especially for the Fusion Middleware and applications like Oracle E-Business Suite and PeopleSoft.  Critical Fusion Middleware security bugs will rise from 7.5 to 9.8.  Oracle E-Business Suite and PeopleSoft critical security bugs like unauthenticated SQL injection will jump from 6.4 to 9.8.  As almost all Oracle Database security bugs require database authentication, the Oracle Database CVSS scores will go from 6.5 to 8.8 for easy to exploit SQL injection vulnerabilities in PUBLIC packages.

The critical risk associated with most Oracle security vulnerabilities is still critical.  Now the CVSS score properly reflects the critical nature of many of these bugs.

Oracle Critical Patch Updates
Categories: APPS Blogs, Security Blogs

Oracle E-Business Suite 11i CPU Security Patches Only Available for Tier 1 Support Customers

Oracle E-Business Suite 11i is impacted by 8 security vulnerabilities in the April 2016 CPU, which includes the Oracle Configurator and Oracle Complex Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul security bugs listed under the Oracle Supply Chain Products Suite.

Starting with the April 2016 Critical Patch Update (CPU), Oracle E-Business Suite 11i security patches are only available for Oracle customers with Tier 1 Support contracts, previously referred to as Advanced Customer Support (ACS).  Tier 1 Support must be purchased and is an additional fee on top of standard Oracle maintenance.  Optional Tier 1 Support will include CPU security patches through October 2016.

CPU information for 11i has been moved from the standard quarterly CPU My Oracle Support (MOS) note for Oracle E-Business Suite to MOS Note ID 2126170.1 “Oracle E-Business Suite Release 11i Critical Patch Update Knowledge Document (For Oracle E-Business Suite 11i Tier 1 Support Customers).”

For more information on CPU support for 11i, please see MOS Note ID 1596629.1 “ANNOUNCEMENT: Additional Coverage Options for 11.5.10 E-Business Suite Sustaining Support.”

As an alternative to Oracle Tier 1 Support or as an additional layer of defense for Oracle E-Business Suite 11i, Integrigy’s web application firewall for Oracle E-Business Suite, AppDefend, provides virtual patching of Oracle E-Business Suite web security vulnerabilities, web application attack surface reduction, and protection from SQL injection and cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks.

Oracle E-Business Suite, Oracle Critical Patch Updates
Categories: APPS Blogs, Security Blogs

Oracle Security and Electronics

Pete Finnigan - Wed, 2016-03-30 14:50

How does Oracle Security and Electronic mix together? - Well I started my working life in 1979 as an apprentice electrician in a factory here in York, England where I live. The factory designed and built trains for the national....[Read More]

Posted by Pete On 09/07/15 At 11:24 AM

Categories: Security Blogs

New Conference Speaking Dates Added

Pete Finnigan - Wed, 2016-03-30 14:50

In the last few years I have not done as many conference speaking dates as I used to. This is simply because when offered they usually clashed with pre-booked work. I spoke for the UKOUG in Dublin last year and....[Read More]

Posted by Pete On 06/07/15 At 09:40 AM

Categories: Security Blogs

Happy 10th Belated Birthday to My Oracle Security Blog

Pete Finnigan - Wed, 2016-03-09 13:05

Make a Sad Face..:-( I seemed to have missed my blogs tenth which happened on the 20th September 2014. My last post last year and until very recently was on July 23rd 2014; so actually its been a big gap....[Read More]

Posted by Pete On 03/07/15 At 11:28 AM

Categories: Security Blogs

Oracle Database Vault 12c Paper by Pete Finnigan

Pete Finnigan - Wed, 2016-03-09 13:05

I wrote a paper about Oracle Database Vault in 12c for SANS last year and this was published in January 2015 by SANS on their website. I also prepared and did a webinar about this paper with SANS. The Paper....[Read More]

Posted by Pete On 30/06/15 At 05:38 PM

Categories: Security Blogs

Oracle Critical Patch Update January 2016 E-Business Suite Analysis

To start, the January 2016 Critical Patch Update (CPU) for Oracle E-Business Suite (EBS) is significant and high-risk

First, this CPU with 78 EBS security fixes has 10x the number of EBS security fixes than an average CPU.  For the previous 44 CPUs released since 2005, an average of 7.5 security bugs are fixed per quarter for EBS.  Second, there are a significant number of SQL injection and other high risk bugs, such as the ability to read arbitrary files from the EBS applications servers.  Third, the security bugs are in a wide-range of over 30 technical and functional modules, therefore, every EBS implementation is at significant risk.  Even if you don't have the module installed, configured, or licensed, in almost all cases the vulnerability can still be exploited. Finally, at least 10 security vulnerabilities can be readily exploited in EBS Interface-facing self-service modules.

Integrigy is credited with discovering 40 of the security bugs fixed this quarter.  We have additional security bugs open with Oracle which we except to be resolved in the next few quarters.

Due to the high number of vulnerabilities affecting Oracle E-Business Suite 11.5.10, Oracle changed the stated 11.5.10 support policy for the January 2016 CPU from requiring an Advanced Support Contract (ACS) to being available for all customers with valid support contracts.  For the April 2016 through October 2016 CPUs, Oracle E-Business Suite 11.5.10 CPU patches will only be available for customers with an Advanced Support Contract (ACS).  After October 2016, there will be no more CPUs for 11.5.10.

Vulnerability Breakdown

An analysis of the security vulnerabilities shows the 78 security fixes resolve 35 SQL injection bugs, 17 unauthorized access issues, 9 cross-site scripting (XSS) bugs, 5 XML External Entity (XXE) bugs, and various other security issues and weaknesses.  The most critical are the SQL injection bugs as these may permit unauthenticated web application users to execute SQL as the application database account (APPS).  Many of these SQL injection bugs allow access to sensitive data or the ability to perform privileged functions such as changing application or database passwords, granting of privileges, etc.

Also, several of the bugs allow an attacker with unauthenticated web application access to retrieve arbitrary files from the application server.  With some knowledge of EBS, it may be possible to download files with the APPS database password.

EBS Version Breakdown

23 vulnerabilities are found in all versions of Oracle E-Business Suite.  The remainder are mostly specific to the different web architectures found in each version.  The following is the breakdown of the 78 vulnerabilities by EBS version --

11.5.10 12.0.x 12.1.x 12.2.x 66 38 40 22

For 11.5.10, there are 22 vulnerabilities in web pages implemented using mod_plsql.  mod_plsql is an Oracle specific web architecture where the web application is implemented using database PL/SQL packages.  mod_plsql was removed from EBS starting with 12.0.  For information on mitigating some of the mod_plsql vulnerabilities, see the section below "EBS 11i mod_plsql Mitigation."

Many of the R12 (12.0, 12.1, 12.2) specific vulnerabilities are in Java Server Pages (JSP) and Java servlets, which are not found in 11i.

I have included 12.0.x in the listing of versions to show even though this version is not supported for the January 2016 CPU, a significant number of the security bugs affect this version.

January 2016 Recommendations

As with all Critical Patch Updates, the most effective method to resolve the vulnerabilities is to apply the patches in a timely manner. 

The most at risk implementations are those running Internet facing self-service modules (i.e., iStore, iSupplier, iSupport, etc.) and Integrigy rates this CPU as a critical risk due to the number of SQL injection vulnerabilities that can be remotely exploited without authentication.   These implementations should (1) apply the CPU as soon as possible and (2) ensure the DMZ is properly configured according to the EBS specific instructions and the EBS URL Firewall is enabled and optimized.

If the CPU can not be applied in a timely manner, Integrigy's AppDefend, an application firewall for the Oracle E-Business Suite, should be implemented.  AppDefend provides virtual patching and can effectively replace patching of EBS web security vulnerabilities.

EBS 11i mod_plsql Mitigation

In order to mitigate some mod_plsql security vulnerabilities, all Oracle EBS 11i environments should look at limiting the enabled mod_plsql web pages.  The script /patch/115/sql/txkDisableModPLSQL.sql can be used to limit the allowed pages listed in FND_ENABLED_PLSQL.  This script was introduced in 11i.ATG_PF.H and the most recent version is in 11i.ATG_PF.H.RUP7 or the January 2016 CPU.  This must be thoroughly tested as it may block a few mod_plsql pages used by your organization.  Review the Apache web logs for the pattern '/pls/' to see what mod_plsql pages are actively being used.  This fix is included and implemented as part of the January 2016 CPU.

Oracle E-Business Suite, Oracle Critical Patch Updates
Categories: APPS Blogs, Security Blogs

Oracle Database Critical Patch Update (CPU) Planning for 2016

With the start of the new year, it is now time to think about Oracle Critical Patch Updates for 2016.  Oracle releases security patches in the form of Critical Patch Updates (CPU) each quarter (January, April, July, and October).  These patches include important fixes for security vulnerabilities in the Oracle Database.  The CPUs are only available for certain versions of the Oracle Database, therefore, advanced planning is required to ensure supported versions are being used and potentially mitigating controls may be required when the CPUs can not be applied in a timely manner.

CPU Supported Database Versions

As of the October 2015 CPU, the only CPU supported database versions are,, and  The final CPU for will be July 2016. will be supported until October 2020 and will be supported until July 2021. and CPU support ended as of July 2015. 

Database CPU Recommendations
  1. When possible, all Oracle databases should be upgraded to or  This will ensure CPUs can be applied through at least October 2020.
  2. [] New databases or application/database upgrade projects currently testing should immediately look to implement instead of, even if this will require additional effort or testing.  With the final CPU for being July 2016, unless a project is implementing in January or February 2016, we believe it is imperative to move to to ensure long-term CPU support.
  3. [ and prior] If a database can not be upgraded, the only effective mitigating control for many database security vulnerabilities is to strictly limit direct database access.  In order to restrict database access, Integrigy recommends using valid node checking, Oracle Connection Manager, network restrictions and firewall rules, and/or terminal servers and bastion hosts.  Direct database access is required to exploit database security vulnerabilities and most often a valid database session is required.

Regardless if security patches are regularly applied or not, general database hardening such as changing database passwords, optimizing initialization parameters, and enabling auditing should be done for all Oracle databases. 


Oracle Database, Oracle Critical Patch Updates
Categories: APPS Blogs, Security Blogs


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