​Hackproofing Oracle eBusiness Suite

Independent security consultant David Litchfield took the audience through hack proofing Oracle’s eBusiness Suite during one of the final sessions at AusCERT 2016.

Given the cost and size of Oracle eBusiness Suite, it’s a tool that used by large companies. And, as large product, it has a “big attack surface” says Litchfield.
Part of the problem with the software is its size - there are in excess of 15000 JSPs (JavaServer Pages) - but Litchfield says over 99% of these can be removed, greatly reducing the attack surface.
His talk focussed on versions 12.2 and earlier, including 11.5.
Litchfield says Oracle claims there are no in the wild exploits of SQL injection flaws but Litchfield says he has clarified the actual situation to Oracle with dozens of potential flaws already resolved with many more still open, he says.
Litchfield’s analysis, after a week of effort, revealed 50 flaws in version 11.5 - which is where he stopped investigating. Another week of effort on version 12.2 revealed many more issues - all of which were reported to Oracle.
In version 11.5 the JSP files were all stored under the trusted.conf file. Ironically, this file isn’t properly secured with files easily accessed and exploited by malicious parties.
His examination of the PL/SQL Gateway revealed a number of significant flaws. In a sample of 40 PL/SQL packages, he found 12 with SQL injection flaws, 15 had XSS issues and two could be exploited by Denial of Service attacks.
Litchfield’s presentation described a number of potential attack methods that could be easily executed. By encrypting some code and injecting it into a table, it becomes possible to get wider database access. While the flaws are not trivially easy to use, they do exist. And, he says, they are very easy to find.
Disturbingly, with version 11.5 no longer supported by Oracle, Litchfield says a large number of known flaws will no longer be fixed. And the flaws are being found so fast there is an issue with Mitre issuing CVE identifiers for the flaws fast enough.
An 80-hour assessment by Litchfield on version 12.x found eight SQL Injection issues, two Java deserialisation as well as more XSS flaws than he could counts as well as other flaws. While Oracle has changed the way parts of the software a shipped - PL/SQL is no longer part of the eBusiness Suite for example - this has resulted in a change in the attack surface, but necessarily a reduction.
One of the things that is clear from Litchfield’s presentation is that regular patching is critical. But equally important is the need to carefully review the installation of the eBusiness Suite.
In a recent engagement, Litchfield was able to reduce the number of JSPs from the default of about 15000 to fewer than 200 - a reduction of 99.99%. This can be done by looking at access logs and JSPs that are requested by other components. Similarly, he was able to reduce the number of servlets from 80 to two. And the number of PL/SQL packages was reduced from 700 to six. These changes resulted in a significant reduction of the software’s attack surface.
During the Q and A after his presentation, Litchfield noted that SQL Server is a far more secure platform. His personal opinion was that SQL Server is far more secure although it may not be as feature rich.
Also, while patching is occurring, many organisations are holding back on patching in order to wait for any flaws in the patch to be identified. In many cases, companies are working one patch cycle behind what’s being released by Oracle.

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