Oracle has issued a fix for a security weakness in its database product that was disclosed at the Black Hat security conference in July in Las Vegas.
At the conference, Oracle database security guru David Litchfield of Accuvant Labs outlined CVE-2012-3132, a vulnerability in the Oracle database server. The issue was one of multiple attacks that Litchfield demonstrated against the Oracle indexing architecture. The flaw allows authenticated remote users to execute arbitrary SQL commands via vectors involving CREATE INDEX with a CTXSYS.CONTEXT INDEXTYPE and DBMS_STATS.GATHER_TABLE_STATS.
While it is not exploitable by remote unauthenticated users, an attacker could exploit the issue as part of a privilege escalation attack and gain 'SYS' privileges.
"Patches and relevant information for protecting against this vulnerability can be found in My Oracle Support Note 1480492.1," Oracle explained in a security advisory. "Mitigations for this issue for Oracle Database Server versions 9i through 11gR2 can be found in My Oracle Support Note 1482694.1. Due to the threat posed by a successful attack and the public disclosure of the technical details of this vulnerability, Oracle strongly recommends that customers apply this Security Alert solution as soon as possible."
The issue impacts versions 10.2.0.3, 10.2.0.4, 10.2.0.5, 220.127.116.11, 18.104.22.168 and 22.214.171.124 of the Oracle database server. According to the company, versions 126.96.36.199 and 188.8.131.52 do not require patching if the July 2012 Critical Patch Update has been applied.
"Since Oracle Fusion Middleware, Oracle Enterprise Manager, Oracle E-Business Suite include the Oracle Database Server component that is affected by this vulnerability, Oracle recommends that customers apply this fix as soon as possible to the Oracle Database Server component," according to Oracle.
For older systems such as Oracle 8i, the company released a workaround with instructions on how to create a database trigger that prevents the creation of a database object required to exploit this vulnerability, explained Alex Rothacker, director of security research for Application Security's TeamSHATTER.
"Since this vulnerability allows a full takeover of the database, SHATTER would give this vulnerability a CVSSv2 score of 9. This is a very high-risk vulnerability, with publicly available exploit code," he said. "Organizations should apply the patches released by Oracle ASAP, and if they are running a version of Oracle for which a patch is not available, they should immediately implement the workaround released by Oracle. A good database activity monitoring solution with the proper attack signatures can also help in identifying and preventing an attack using this vulnerability."