E Oracle Advanced Security FIPS 140-2 Settings

The cryptographic libraries for SSL included in Oracle Database 10g are designed to meet FIPS 140-2 Level 2 certification. Oracle Advanced Security makes use of these cryptographic libraries for SSL authentication. Please verify the current status of the certification at the Cryptographic Modules Validation Program Web site address:


The security policy, which would be available at the NIST site upon successful certification, includes requirements for secure configuration of the host operating system.

The following topics are covered in this appendix:

E.1 Configuring FIPS Parameter

Oracle Advanced Security SSL adapter can be configured to run in FIPS mode by setting the SQLNET.SSLFIPS_140 parameter to TRUE in the sqlnet.ora file.


This parameter is set to FALSE by default. It must be set to TRUE on both the client and the server for FIPS mode operation.

Make sure that the sqlnet.ora file is either located in the ORACLE_HOME/network/admin directory, or is pointed to by the TNS_ADMIN environment variable. This procedure can be repeated in any Oracle home for any database server or client.


You must add or edit the SQLNET.SSLFIPS_140 parameter in the sqlnet.ora file with a text editor. You cannot use Oracle Net Manager to set this parameter

E.2 Selecting Cipher Suites

A cipher suite is a set of authentication, encryption and data integrity algorithms used for exchanging messages between network nodes. During an SSL handshake, for example, the two nodes negotiate to see as to which cipher suite they will use when transmitting messages back and forth.

Only the cipher suites listed below are approved for FIPS validation:







Oracle Advanced Security SSL cipher suites are automatically set to FIPS approved cipher suites. If you wish to configure specific cipher suites, you can do so by editing the SSL_CIPHER_SUITES parameter in the sqlnet.ora file.


You can also use Oracle Net Manager to set this parameter on the server and the client.

E.3 Post-Installation Checks

After installation, the following permissions must be verified in the operating system:

  • Execute permissions must be set on all Oracle executable files so as to prevent execution of Oracle Cryptographic Libraries by users who are unauthorized to do so in accordance with the system security policy.

  • Read and write permissions must be set on all Oracle executable files so as to prevent accidental or deliberate reading or modification of Oracle Cryptographic Libraries by any user.

To comply with FIPS 140-2 Level 2 requirements, the security policy must include procedures to prevent unauthorized users from reading, modifying or executing Oracle Cryptographic Libraries processes and the memory they are using in the operating system.

E.4 Verifying FIPS Connections

To check if FIPS mode is enabled, tracing can be added to the sqlnet.ora file. FIPS self-test messages can be found in the trace file. Add the following lines to sqlnet.ora to enable tracing:


For example:


Trace level 6 is the minimum trace level required to check the results of the FIPS self-tests.