Oracle releases 136 security patches for wide range of products

The company has adopted the new CVSS 3.0 vulnerability rating system, resulting in a larger number of flaws rated as high and critical

Oracle has released another monster quarterly security update containing 136 fixes for flaws in a wide range of products including Oracle Database Server, E-Business Suite, Fusion Middleware, Oracle Sun Products, Java and MySQL.

The biggest change is Oracle's adoption of the Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS) version 3.0, which more accurately reflects the impact of flaws than CVSS 2.0. This Oracle Critical Patch Update (CPU) has both CVSS 3.0 and CVSS 2.0 scores for vulnerabilities, providing a chance to compare how the new rating system might affect Oracle patch prioritization inside organizations.

One immediately noticeable change is that there are five vulnerabilities rated with the maximum score of 10.0 based on the CVSS 2.0 scale, but none when using the CVSS 3.0 rating. At first glance, this would suggest that based on CVSS 3.0, flaws are rated as less critical, but that's not true.

While there are no flaws with a 10.0 score, the number of flaws in this CPU that are considered critical based on their CVSS 3.0 score is 17, compared to 9 based on CVSS 2.0. Similarly, 25 flaws are rated as high severity using CVSS 3.0, compared to only 12 using CVSS 2.0.

The number of low severity flaws also decreased from 28, based on CVSS 2.0, to only 10 based on CVSS 3.0. This shows that overall, CVSS 3.0 increases the severity rating of vulnerabilities compared to CVSS 2.0.

"First of all, I’m glad to see such changes in the scoring system, as there were many discussions about the quality of CVSS v.2.0," said Alexander Polyakov, CTO at vulnerability intelligence firm ERPScan, via email. "For example, vendors could rate issues discovered in their products as less critical (intentionally or unintentionally) because of some flaws in this scoring system. Now the recently updated system is more accurate and many drawbacks affecting the previous version were resolved."

Oracle products that have vulnerabilities rated as high (CVSS 3 score from 7.0 to 8.9) and critical (score 9.0 to 10.0) are: Oracle Database Server, Oracle Fusion Middleware, Oracle Enterprise Manager Grid Control, Oracle E-Business Suite, Oracle Supply Chain Products Suite, Oracle PeopleSoft Products, Oracle Financial Services Software, Oracle Java SE, Oracle Sun Systems Products, Oracle Virtualization, Oracle MySQL and Oracle Berkeley DB.

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Lucian Constantin

Lucian Constantin

IDG News Service
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