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Home » Hacking News » Oracle unauthenticated remote system compromise

Oracle unauthenticated remote system compromise

by Nikola Strahija on February 18th, 2003 There is a remotely exploitable buffer overflow vulnerability in the authentication process with the Oracle Database Server.

Name: Oracle unauthenticated remote system compromise
Systems Affected: All platforms; Oracle9i Database Release 2, 9i Release 1,
8i, 8.1.7, 8.0.6
Severity: Critical Risk
Category: Remote System Buffer Overrun
Vendor URL:
Author: Mark Litchfield ([email protected])
Date: 16th February 2003
Advisory number: #NISR16022003a

Oracle is the leader in the database market with a 54% market share lead
under ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning). The database server is vulnerable
to a remotely exploitable buffer overflow vulnerability. What exacerbates
this problem is that no valid User ID or password is required by an

There is a remotely exploitable buffer overflow vulnerability in the
authentication process with the Oracle Database Server. By supplying an
overly long username when attempting to log onto the database server an
attacker can overflow a stack based buffer overwriting the saved return
address. Any arbitrary code supplied by an attacker would execute with the
same privileges as the user running the service; this account is typically
"Oracle" on linux/unix based platforms and Local System on Windows based
operating systems such as NT/2000/XP. As such this allows for a complete
compromise of the data stored in the database and possibly a complete
compromise of the operating system. As most client applications for Oracle
will tuncate the length of the username that can be supplied to the database
an attacker would need to write their own Oracle "Authenticator" to exploit
this issue. That said, NGSSoftware has found one client application that
will allow longer usernames so to test if you are vulnerable to this issue,
use the LOADPSP utility usually found in "bin" directory found under the
OracleHomeInstallDirectory. On Windows, for example, run:

C:ora9iasBIN>loadpsp -name -user LONGUSERNAME/[email protected] myfile

Fix Information
NGSSoftware alerted Oracle to this vulnerability on 30th September 2002.
Oracle has reviewed the code and created a patch which is available from:

NGSSoftware advise Oracle database customers to review and install the patch
as a matter of urgency.

A check for these issues has been added to NGSSQuirreL for Oracle, a
comprehensive automated vulnerability assessment tool for Oracle Database
Servers of which more information is available from the NGSSite

It is further recommend that Oracle DBAs have their network/firewall
administrators ensure that the database server is protected from Internet
sourced traffic.

Further Information
For further information about the scope and effects of buffer overflows,
please see

About NGSSoftware
NGSSoftware design, research and develop intelligent, advanced application
security assessment scanners. Based in the United Kingdom, NGSSoftware have
offices in the South of London and the East Coast of Scotland. NGSSoftware's
sister company NGSConsulting, offers best of breed security consulting
services, specialising in application, host and network security

Telephone +44 208 401 0070
Fax +44 208 401 0076

[email protected]

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