Database Forensics

Database ninja David Litchfield told me he posted the latest in a series of lengthy articles on investigating Oracle database incidents. Specifically, he asked me to review the newest article on Live Response (.pdf) given my background. I recommend checking out the whole set of articles at Database Security.

Speaking of database security, I got a chance to see Alexander Kornbrust of Red-Database-Security GmbH talk about Oracle (in)security at CONFidence 2007. His talk reminded me of comments Thomas Ptacek once made about certain software being indefensible ten years ago, whereas now we have a fighting chance with some software. After hearing Alex's talk I think Oracle belongs in the indefensible category. Oracle appears to be at least five years behind their peer group in terms of producing "secure" code.

(I put "secure" in quotation marks because I don't believe anything is really "secure," but on relative terms Oracle seems far behind those with more robust secure development lifecycles and patch response processes.)


Anonymous said…
You are being too kind to Oracle. I'd say more like 7-10 years behind. What's humorous is the recent additions to their product line that add "new" features like audit vault that "simplify compliance reporting, proactively detect threats, reduce costs and secure audit data".

Oracle should be grateful for firms like NGS and others who are helping them secure their products. I have no idea what the Security people at Oracle are doing, but I'll give them the benefit of the doubt that politics and bureaucracy are in their way.

I am greatly irritate when I see the way Oracle treats people like NGS. What if David and friends weren't so kind? What happens when more people put their attention towards Oracle and decide they don't want to wait 2 years for Oracle to fix a bug but would rather screw Oracle over for being jerks and release 0days?

I know that they are making changes, but they have a LONG way to go.
H. Carvey said…
Very good paper...I addressed it on my blog. I see this as an excellent resource for folks who encounter an Oracle database in the course of their incident response.

The only thing I would suggest as a change in the paper is that the author consider, in the live response section, re-ordering the listing of information to be collected, taking the Order of Volatility (RFC 3227) into account.

Great job and kudos to David!

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