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Pete Finnigan's Oracle Security Weblog

This is the weblog for Pete Finnigan. Pete works in the area of Oracle security and he specialises in auditing Oracle databases for security issues. This weblog is aimed squarely at those interested in the security of their Oracle databases.

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DBMS_SQL new security features and ROWID hacking

I saw that David had made a couple of good posts to his blog in the last couple of days. The first is about the hidden parameter _dbms_sql_security_level being added to help control the use of the DBMS_SQL package and also to prevent cursor injection or cursor snarfing by adding security levels, checking effective and actual user IDs and also now generating random cursor ID's to prevent prediction. These are great improvements to this area that effectively closes out a major security hole. David's blog is titled Oracle 11g DBMS_SQL Security Changes.

David's second interesting post is titled 0wned by the lowly Oracle rowid pseudo function? and discusses the use of the ROWID function to predict information that is there but is perhaps not visible because of the use of VPD. This could undermine VPD in some circumstances but would require predictable other data to enable someone with SQL access to use the ROWID function to predict missing records. What is intersting about this post is that it uses the same method I suggested around 4 years ago but from another angle. I used it in Oracle forensics to show how a deleted record from SYS.AUD$ could be identified and also how altered records showed up in the same table when comparing the ROWID and also the timestamps.

There has been 2 Comments posted on this article

November 4th, 2007 at 10:28 am

Pete Finnigan says:

I read David's post, and had a thought about ROWID. Since he doesn't have comments, I will add it here instead.
I think the file id component of the rowid could be quite revealing in some circumstances. It may, for example, suggest if a table is time-partitioned where old records may be in a read-only tablespace.
Where ROWID analysis indicated partitioning, you'd know you were dealing with Enterprise Edition which may be useful information

November 5th, 2007 at 12:44 pm

Pete Finnigan says:

Hi Gary,

Thanks for your comment and point. This is a very good observation as Rowids that are visble can as you point out be linked back to physical information about the database structure, version and more.

Thanks Gary,