Vulnerabilities / Threats

8/14/2018
04:00 PM
Connect Directly
Twitter
LinkedIn
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Oracle: Apply Out-of-Band Patch for Database Flaw ASAP

Flaw in the Java VM component of Oracle's Database Server is easily exploitable, security experts warn.

Oracle this week urged organizations to immediately patch a critical vulnerability in multiple versions of Oracle database that gives attackers a way to completely compromise the technology and gain root access to the underlying server.

The flaw [CVE-2018-3110] exists in the Java VM component of Oracle's Database Server and affects versions 11.2.0.4 and 12.2.0.1 on Windows. It also impacts Oracle Database version 12.1.0.2 on Windows and Oracle Database on Linux and Unix. However, patches for these particular versions of the database were issued with Oracle's July 2018 monthly patch update.

In an out-of-band security advisory Monday, the enterprise software giant described the vulnerability as an issue that can be remotely exploited only by fully authenticated users who are able to create a session with the database. Even so, it urged customers to take immediate action to address the issue. "Due to the nature of this vulnerability, Oracle strongly recommends that customers take action without delay," the advisory noted.

The National Vulnerability Database categorized the threat as easily exploitable. "[It] allows low privileged attacker having Create Session privilege with network access via Oracle Net to compromise Java VM."

While the flaw exists in the Java VM component, an attacker can exploit the vulnerability to attack other technologies as well. "Successful attacks of this vulnerability can result in takeover of Java VM," the NVD cautioned.

Todd Schell, product manager of security at Ivanti, says the ease with which an attacker can exploit the flaw makes it imperative for organizations using Oracle's database to address the issue immediately. "This out-of-band vulnerability and fix should not be overlooked and delayed until Oracle's next patch update in October," he warned.

Though an attacker does require valid access credentials to exploit the flaw, even a basic user set of credentials — obtained via methods like phishing - would work, he says.

Oracle, like other major security vendors, typically releases security patches and updates on a fixed, publicly available schedule. While companies like Microsoft follow a monthly schedule, Oracle releases its patch updates in a quarterly cycle— in January, April, July, and October. Because of the complexities involved in applying patches to running databases, even that pace is often too hard to keep up with for many organizations.

"Organizations can take ages," to apply patches, even if they are as critical as the one announced this week, says John Holt, founder and chief technology officer at Waratek. "Oracle themselves claim that their average customer runs nearly a year beyond in applying critical patches. Other third-party software testing vendors claim that 86% of even the most serious flaws take more than 30 days to fix."

What makes those numbers especially troubling is the fact that attackers using automated scanners can identify and launch attacks against just announced vulnerabilities within hours of disclosure, Holt says.

With this particular vulnerability though, delay would be inadvisable. Organizations need to realize that vulnerabilities don't get any easier to exploit, he says. "When someone pushes an exploit script into the wild, any two-penny script kiddie will be able to take hostage one of the most popular and widespread database systems in-use by companies and governments in a single click," Holt notes.

For most organizations, the principal risk group for this particular vulnerability is internal actors such as rogue employees. External attackers who have compromised lateral systems in an internal corporate network are another major risk group, Holt says.

"A simple static script will be all that is required," he predicts. "As soon as one is released, then anyone can wield this vulnerability in a single click."

Related Content:

 

Learn from the industry's most knowledgeable CISOs and IT security experts in a setting that is conducive to interaction and conversation. Register before July 27 and save $700! Click for more info

Jai Vijayan is a seasoned technology reporter with over 20 years of experience in IT trade journalism. He was most recently a Senior Editor at Computerworld, where he covered information security and data privacy issues for the publication. Over the course of his 20-year ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
The Year in Security 2018
This Dark Reading Tech Digest explores the biggest news stories of 2018 that shaped the cybersecurity landscape.
Flash Poll
How Enterprises Are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
How Enterprises Are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
Data breach fears and the need to comply with regulations such as GDPR are two major drivers increased spending on security products and technologies. But other factors are contributing to the trend as well. Find out more about how enterprises are attacking the cybersecurity problem by reading our report today.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2018-20735
PUBLISHED: 2019-01-17
** DISPUTED ** An issue was discovered in BMC PATROL Agent through 11.3.01. It was found that the PatrolCli application can allow for lateral movement and escalation of privilege inside a Windows Active Directory environment. It was found that by default the PatrolCli / PATROL Agent application only...
CVE-2019-0624
PUBLISHED: 2019-01-17
A spoofing vulnerability exists when a Skype for Business 2015 server does not properly sanitize a specially crafted request, aka "Skype for Business 2015 Spoofing Vulnerability." This affects Skype.
CVE-2019-0646
PUBLISHED: 2019-01-17
A Cross-site Scripting (XSS) vulnerability exists when Team Foundation Server does not properly sanitize user provided input, aka "Team Foundation Server Cross-site Scripting Vulnerability." This affects Team.
CVE-2019-0647
PUBLISHED: 2019-01-17
An information disclosure vulnerability exists when Team Foundation Server does not properly handle variables marked as secret, aka "Team Foundation Server Information Disclosure Vulnerability." This affects Team.
CVE-2018-20727
PUBLISHED: 2019-01-17
Multiple command injection vulnerabilities in NeDi before 1.7Cp3 allow authenticated users to execute code on the server side via the flt parameter to Nodes-Traffic.php, the dv parameter to Devices-Graph.php, or the tit parameter to drawmap.php.