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1/29/2007
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A Free Database Scanner

Imperva's new free Scuba database scanner tool dives deep into the database to pinpoint weaknesses

If you're worried about the security of your database -- but can't afford a full-blown vulnerability assessment right now -- you're in luck. Imperva is now offering a free database vulnerability scanner.

Called Scuba by Imperva, the scanner is a lightweight Java utility that scans Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, IBM DB2, and Sybase databases for flaws like SQL injection and buffer overflow vulnerabilities. The tool, which is available now here, also checks for configuration errors or weaknesses, such as permission levels and weak passwords.

One of the first beta testers of the scanner is Accor, which owns Club Med, Motel 6, Red Roof Inn, and Sofitel, among other travel and leisure chains. The company is evaluating the product as a potential tool for determining its Oracle and SQL databases' compliance with the retail industry's PCI standards, says Jaimin Shah, a security engineer with Accor.

Shah says Accor was attracted to the freebie aspect of the tool. "But it also provided us database remediation and guidelines on how to go back in and fix the issues that the scanner highlighted, whether it was patching or configuration issues."

Accor is running the tool to ensure its reservation systems are PCI-compliant and secure; to confirm who has access to that data; and to check for malicious data. "The tool did provide us a visibility into the environment we did not have" before, Shah says. Other database vulnerability assessment tools Accor has used did more "surface" scanning, he says, "but Scuba went a lot deeper than that."

"This went into detail... If there were vulnerabilities, it provided details on it -- why it failed an assessment report, where, and what you need to do to eliminate" the problem, he says.

Imperva is not an exploit tool, however. It doesn't run exploits on databases or provide data that could be used to exploit vulnerabilities in databases. Only authorized users can access it, according to Imperva.

"We made it freeware so the first step" to assessing and improving their database security is easy, says Alan Norquist, vice president of marketing for Imperva. "They could use that [data] to go to management and get a budget to do further investigation, buy mitigation software, or help reconfigure their database."

An additional layer of database security is where Imperva's bread-and-butter comes in -- the company sells database security appliances, as well as Web security appliances. Scuba by Imperva, meanwhile, comes with over 350 database assessment tests, and Imperva plans to add tests to the tool from time to time.

— Kelly Jackson Higgins, Senior Editor, Dark Reading

  • Imperva Inc. Kelly Jackson Higgins is the Executive Editor of Dark Reading. She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise ... View Full Bio

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