Exploit code out for Oracle Database 10g vulnerability

Company says it has a fix, but won't release patch until January

With exploit code in circulation and no patch available for a buffer-overflow bug, Oracle's flagship database software is open to attack, security researchers said today.

The vulnerability was first disclosed yesterday by VeriSign's iDefense Labs, which issued an advisory outlining the flaw in Oracle Database 10gR2. Earlier versions of the enterprise database software may also be at risk, iDefense cautioned.

Today, Symantec Corp. followed with a warning to customers of its DeepSight threat management system. "The issue affects the 'OWNER' and the 'NAME' parameters of the 'XDB.XDB_PITRIG_PKG.PITRIG_DROP METADATA' procedure," said Symantec. "Specifically, if the combined length of both parameters is excessively large, a buffer will overflow when constructing a SQL query."

An attack requires authentication to the database, but assuming that, a successful exploit could execute code remotely. Proof-of-concept exploit code was posted on the Internet last Friday.

Oracle claimed it has quashed the bug in the Database 10g code, but it will not issue a patch until the next quarterly update -- dubbed Critical Patch Update, or CPU -- scheduled for Jan. 15, 2008, both iDefense and Symantec reported.

Because there are no workarounds available in the interim, Symantec recommended that users deploy network intrusion-detection systems (IDS) to monitor traffic for malicious activity, and allow only trusted employees to access the database.

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Gregg Keizer

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