Oracle releases patches, but not for many known flaws

Shawna McAlearney, News Editor

Even as admins scrambled to patch numerous critical flaws in Oracle products today, some noted that fixes were unavailable for many other serious and well-known flaws -- among them one in Oracle Forms detailed in a paper also released today.

"The Critical Patch Update

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issued [today]
Multiple high-risk Oracle flaws

Twenty-three flaws headline Oracle's first quarterly patch cycle. (Jan. 18)

contains fixes for security vulnerabilities in the Oracle Database, Oracle Application Server, Oracle Enterprise Manager Grid Control and Oracle E-Business Suite," said an Oracle spokesperson. "The patch also includes fixes that customers are likely to apply and/or are prerequisites for the security fixes."

The company noted more than 89 security vulnerabilities -- many of them cumulative -- in its new threat matrix that measures the ease of exploitability and its impact. Oracle said the supported product releases and versions affected include:

  • Oracle Database 10g Release 1, versions,,, ( is supported for Oracle Application Server only);
  • Oracle9i Database Server Release 2, versions,;
  • Oracle9i Database Server Release 1, versions,, 9.0.4 ( FIPS) (all of which are supported for Oracle Application Server only);
  • Oracle8i Database Server Release 3, version;
  • Oracle Application Server 10g Release 2 (10.1.2);
  • Oracle Application Server 10g (9.0.4), versions,;
  • Oracle9i Application Server Release 2, versions,;
  • Oracle9i Application Server Release 1, version;
  • Oracle Collaboration Suite Release 2, versions,;
  • Oracle E-Business Suite and Applications Release 11i, versions 11.5.0 through 11.5.10;
  • Oracle E-Business Suite and Applications Release 11.0;
  • Oracle Enterprise Manager Grid Control 10g, versions,;
  • Oracle Enterprise Manager versions,;
  • PeopleSoft EnterpriseOne Applications, versions 8.9 SP2 and 8.93;
  • PeopleSoft OneWorldXe/ERP8 Applications, versions SP22 and higher.

However, one expert noted that many flaws weren't addressed in the patch, including a SQL injection vulnerability in default installations of Oracle Forms found by bug researcher Alex Kornburst. "None of the 40 outstanding security bugs he has reported have been fixed, quite a large portion of which have been reported for more than a year," said Pete Finnigan, an Oracle expert and author of Oracle Security Step By Step - A survival guide for Oracle security. Finnigan also noted that researcher Esteban MartÍnez Fayo is credited with some fixes in this advisory but in a recent paper he stated that Oracle still needs to fix more than 65 buffer overflows that he has reported.

"The number of bugs some researchers say they have reported and that are not fixed for quite considerable lengths of time is worrying," Finnigan added. "I hope that Oracle is becoming proactive in fixing bugs quicker rather than [allowing] researchers to advertise larger and larger lists of unfixed Oracle bugs on their sites. How many know of these unfixed bugs and are exploiting them already?"

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