Category Archives: DBA

Security Fix Breaks Recovery

Oracle’s “Security Alert Advisory for CVE-2012-3132” issued a warning about an attack vector that once again was discovered by security expert David Litchfield. The vulnerability allows to execute SQL code with SYS privileges by using object names containing quotation marks, if the attacker

  1. has authorized access to the database,
  2. has CREATE TABLE and CREATE PROCEDURE privileges and
  3. is allowed to execute DBMS_STATS.

A fix for this issue was published in July 2012 but there’s also Oracle’s advisory on how to cope with the threat without patching the RDBMS. This recommendation, however, has implications when such a database is recovered or cloned:

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Monitoring Oracle Performance with AppDynamics

One of my customers uses AppDynamics as their tool of choice for Application Performance Management of a multi-tier, B2B/B2C application environment with several Oracle Databases at the back end. This tool gives a graphic overview of the application infrastructure, discovers (JDBC or .net) database queries automatically and provides metrics on the response time for those database calls as well as metrics from the servers where the application components run on.

To my surprise, I found out that there are so-called “Machine Agents” that can be run on the servers to collect performance and other metrics, but there wasn’t any component for collecting metrics from the Oracle RDBMS itself. Thus, born was the idea to create such a component (“Monitor” in the AppDynamics terminology)!

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