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TUCoPS :: Oracle :: ciacm012.txt

CIAC M-012 Oracle File Overwrite Security Vulnerability


M-012: Oracle File Overwrite Security Vulnerability

[Oracle Security Alert #20]

October 29, 2001 22:00 GMT
 PROBLEM:           The oracle binary executable has a vulnerability with
                    the SETUID bit, allowing unauthorized write privileges
                    of trace files in ORACLE_HOME/rdms/log and other
 PLATFORM:          All Oracle database server releases (8.0.x, 8.1.x, and
                    9.0.1) on all Unix platforms.
 DAMAGE:            This vulnerability allows unauthorized, non-privileged
                    users (e.g., "nobody") to overwrite/corrupt existing
                    files and create new files in arbitrary directories of
 SOLUTION:          Apply the workaround described below (change file
                    permissions on the oracle executables).
 VULNERABILITY      The risk is MEDIUM. This vulnerability can be
 ASSESSMENT:        exploited by a non-privileged user, resulting in an
                    upgrade of privileges.


[***** Start Oracle Security Alert #20 *****]

Security Alert #20
Reference Date: 10/18/01

Oracle File Overwrite Security Vulnerability

There is a potential security vulnerability associated with the Oracle
binary oracle on UNIX platforms. A non-privileged user (such as
"nobody") invokes the oracle executable: as a result of the presence of
the SETUID bit, the executable can be forced to write to a trace file in
ORACLE_HOME/rdbms/log directory and thereby overwrite existing log files
or create new (unauthorized) files. The non-privileged user can also
point the environment variable, ORACLE_HOME, to an arbitrary directory
in the operating system and thereby corrupt other files as well.

All Oracle database server releases (8.0.x, 8.1.x and 9.0.1)

All Unix platforms

Change the file permissions on the oracle executable as follows:
% chmod o-x oracle

The workaround suggested above will permit only the owner of the oracle
executable and users defined in the OS DBA group to run the oracle
executable directly. With the execute permissions for "others" removed,
other users cannot connect to an Oracle database server using the BEQ
driver. If the BEQ driver is being used to connect to an Oracle
database, a client program (such as SQLPLUS) will fork its processes and
try to execute the oracle executable directly. This operation will fail
because such a client program will run with the OS user’s privileges who
no longer has execute permission on the oracle executable. To avoid this
problem, local users must connect to an Oracle database using the IPC driver
which makes it possible to connect to a TNS listener listening on an
Oracle database.  The TNS listener will need to be started by a user that
has execute permissions on the oracle executable.

The potential security vulnerability will be code-fixed in the next
release of the Oracle database server which is Oracle9i, Release 2,
only. All other releases of the Oracle database (8.0.x, 8.1.x and 9.0.1)
must use follow the workarounds specified above to circumvent the
potential security vulnerability.

Oracle wishes to thank Juan Manuel Pascual EscribĂ for discovering these
vulnerabilities and promptly bringing them to Oracle's attention.

[***** End Oracle Security Alert #20 *****]

CIAC wishes to acknowledge the contributions of Oracle for the information
contained in this bulletin.
CIAC services are available to DOE, DOE Contractors, and the NIH. CIAC can
be contacted at:

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This document was prepared as an account of work sponsored by an agency of
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