Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

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
 

Recommended Reading:

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Edge-DRsplash-10-edge-articles
7 Old IT Things Every New InfoSec Pro Should Know
Joan Goodchild, Staff Editor,  4/20/2021
News
Cloud-Native Businesses Struggle With Security
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  5/6/2021
Commentary
Defending Against Web Scraping Attacks
Rob Simon, Principal Security Consultant at TrustedSec,  5/7/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you today!
Flash Poll
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
Recent breaches of third-party apps are driving many organizations to think harder about the security of their off-the-shelf software as they continue to move left in secure software development practices.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2021-32606
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-11
In the Linux kernel 5.11 through 5.12.2, isotp_setsockopt in net/can/isotp.c allows privilege escalation to root by leveraging a use-after-free. (This does not affect earlier versions that lack CAN ISOTP SF_BROADCAST support.)
CVE-2021-3504
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-11
A flaw was found in the hivex library in versions before 1.3.20. It is caused due to a lack of bounds check within the hivex_open function. An attacker could input a specially crafted Windows Registry (hive) file which would cause hivex to read memory beyond its normal bounds or cause the program to...
CVE-2021-20309
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-11
A flaw was found in ImageMagick in versions before 7.0.11 and before 6.9.12, where a division by zero in WaveImage() of MagickCore/visual-effects.c may trigger undefined behavior via a crafted image file submitted to an application using ImageMagick. The highest threat from this vulnerability is to ...
CVE-2021-20310
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-11
A flaw was found in ImageMagick in versions before 7.0.11, where a division by zero ConvertXYZToJzazbz() of MagickCore/colorspace.c may trigger undefined behavior via a crafted image file that is submitted by an attacker and processed by an application using ImageMagick. The highest threat from this...
CVE-2021-20311
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-11
A flaw was found in ImageMagick in versions before 7.0.11, where a division by zero in sRGBTransformImage() in the MagickCore/colorspace.c may trigger undefined behavior via a crafted image file that is submitted by an attacker processed by an application using ImageMagick. The highest threat from t...