Oracle fixes 100s of vulnerabilities that put enterprise data at risk

Oracle's October security update is one of the largest ever, fixing 253 flaws

Oracle has released another large batch of patches, fixing many critical vulnerabilities in enterprise products that are used to store and work with critical business data.

About 40 percent of the patched flaws are located in Oracle E-Business Suite, Oracle Fusion Middleware, Oracle PeopleSoft, Oracle Retail Applications, Oracle JD Edwards, Oracle Supply Chain Products and Oracle Database Server. Many of these flaws can be exploited remotely without authentication to compromise the affected components.

In total, Oracle's October Critical Patch Update (CPU) contains 253 security fixes across hundreds of products including database servers, networking components, operating systems, application servers and ERP systems.

In databases, 31 flaws were patched in MySQL and 12 in the Oracle Database Server.

"Databases are typically not exposed to the internet, but administrators should plan on patching for CVE-2016-6304, CVE-2016-5598 and CVE-2010-5312 as they are remotely exploitable and attackers can use them after compromising another system on the network," said Amol Sarwate, director of the vulnerability labs at security vendor Qualys, in a blog post.

Another 21 flaws were fixed in Oracle E-Business Suite, the company's main business software bundle. Fourteen of these vulnerabilities can be exploited remotely without authentication.

As Oracle E-Business Suite manages "a wide range of business processes and stores key data, a successful attack against Oracle EBS allows an attacker to steal and manipulate different business critical information, depending on modules installed in an organization," researchers from security firm ERPScan said in an analysis of the patches.

The Oracle HTTP Server, which is a central part of Oracle E-Business Suite, is affected by a vulnerability that could give unauthenticated attackers access data. Based on a scan using the Shodan search engine, the ERPScan researchers estimate that there are around 15,000 Oracle HTTP servers exposed to the internet.

A large number of flaws, 29, were patched in the Oracle Fusion Middleware, which includes Oracle Big Data Discovery, Oracle Web Services, Oracle WebLogic Server, Oracle GlassFish Server, Oracle iPlanet Web Server and Oracle Outside In Technology that's used in many third party products to manipulate file formats. Nineteen of these vulnerabilities can be exploited remotely without authentication and five of them are rated critical and could lead to a complete compromise of the affected components.

The Oracle PeopleSoft family of products received 11 security fixes, the Oracle JD Edwards products received 2 and Oracle Siebel CRM, three. Many flaws were also fixed in Oracle's industry-specific applications such as those for financial services, commerce, retail, insurance, hospitality and health sciences.

On the OS and virtualization front, 16 vulnerabilities were fixed in Solaris and other Sun-inherited products, such as the Sun ZFS Storage Appliance. Thirteen flaws were also fixed in VirtualBox, Virtual Desktop Infrastructure and Sun Ray Operating Software.

Seven vulnerabilities that can be exploited remotely without authentication have also been fixed in Java SE, three of them being rated critical.

Overall, this is the second-largest CPU ever released by Oracle and touches almost all of the company's products. All of Oracle CPUs released this year -- they are released quarterly -- have exceeded 200 security fixes. This is compared to an average of 161 fixes per CPU in 2015 and 128 in 2014.

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