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Oracle® Database Advanced Security Administrator's Guide
11g Release 2 (11.2)

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actual data

In Oracle Data Redaction, the data in a protected table or view. An example of actual data could be the number 123456789, and the redacted data version of this number could appear to the user, depending on the Data Redaction policy, as 999996789.

access control

The ability of a system to grant or limit access to specific data for specific clients or groups of clients.

Access Control Lists (ACLs)

The group of access directives that you define. The directives grant levels of access to specific data for specific clients, or groups of clients, or both.

Advanced Encryption Standard

Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) is a new cryptographic algorithm that has been approved by the National Institute of Standards and Technology as a replacement for DES. The AES standard is available in Federal Information Processing Standards Publication 197. The AES algorithm is a symmetric block cipher that can process data blocks of 128 bits, using cipher keys with lengths of 128, 192, and 256 bits.


An item of information that describes some aspect of an entry in an LDAP directory. An entry comprises a set of attributes, each of which belongs to an object class. Moreover, each attribute has both a type, which describes the kind of information in the attribute, and a value, which contains the actual data.


The process of verifying the identity of a user, device, or other entity in a computer system, often as a prerequisite to granting access to resources in a system. A recipient of an authenticated message can be certain of the message's origin (its sender). Authentication is presumed to preclude the possibility that another party has impersonated the sender.

authentication method

A security method that verifies a user's, client's, or server's identity in distributed environments. Network authentication methods can also provide the benefit of single sign-on (SSO) for users. The following authentication methods are supported in Oracle Database when Oracle Advanced Security is installed:


Permission given to a user, program, or process to access an object or set of objects. In Oracle, authorization is done through the role mechanism. A single person or a group of people can be granted a role or a group of roles. A role, in turn, can be granted other roles. The set of privileges available to an authenticated entity.

auto login wallet

An Oracle Wallet Manager feature that enables PKI- or password-based access to services without providing credentials at the time of access. This auto login access stays in effect until the auto login feature is disabled for that wallet. File system permissions provide the necessary security for auto login wallets. When auto login is enabled for a wallet, it is only available to the operating system user who created that wallet. Sometimes these are called "SSO wallets" because they provide single sign-on capability.


The root of a subtree search in an LDAP-compliant directory.


An ITU x.509 v3 standard data structure that securely binds an identify to a public key.

A certificate is created when an entity's public key is signed by a trusted identity, a certificate authority. The certificate ensures that the entity's information is correct and that the public key actually belongs to that entity.

A certificate contains the entity's name, identifying information, and public key. It is also likely to contain a serial number, expiration date, and information about the rights, uses, and privileges associated with the certificate. Finally, it contains information about the certificate authority that issued it.

certificate authority

A trusted third party that certifies that other entities—users, databases, administrators, clients, servers—are who they say they are. When it certifies a user, the certificate authority first seeks verification that the user is not on the certificate revocation list (CRL), then verifies the user's identity and grants a certificate, signing it with the certificate authority's private key. The certificate authority has its own certificate and public key which it publishes. Servers and clients use these to verify signatures the certificate authority has made. A certificate authority might be an external company that offers certificate services, or an internal organization such as a corporate MIS department.

certificate chain

An ordered list of certificates containing an end-user or subscriber certificate and its certificate authority certificates.

certificate request

A certificate request, which consists of three parts: certification request information, a signature algorithm identifier, and a digital signature on the certification request information. The certification request information consists of the subject's distinguished name, public key, and an optional set of attributes. The attributes may provide additional information about the subject identity, such as postal address, or a challenge password by which the subject entity may later request certificate revocation. See PKCS #10

certificate revocation lists

(CRLs) Signed data structures that contain a list of revoked certificates. The authenticity and integrity of the CRL is provided by a digital signature appended to it. Usually, the CRL signer is the same entity that signed the issued certificate.


A mechanism that computes a value for a message packet, based on the data it contains, and passes it along with the data to authenticate that the data has not been tampered with. The recipient of the data recomputes the cryptographic checksum and compares it with the cryptographic checksum passed with the data; if they match, it is "probabilistic" proof the data was not tampered with during transmission.

Cipher Block Chaining (CBC)

An encryption method that protects against block replay attacks by making the encryption of a cipher block dependent on all blocks that precede it; it is designed to make unauthorized decryption incrementally more difficult. Oracle Advanced Security employs outer cipher block chaining because it is more secure than inner cipher block chaining, with no material performance penalty.

cipher suite

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 which cipher suite they will use when transmitting messages back and forth.

cipher suite name

Cipher suites describe the kind of cryptographics protection that is used by connections in a particular session.


Message text that has been encrypted.


Unencrypted plain text.


A client relies on a service. A client can sometimes be a user, sometimes a process acting on behalf of the user during a database link (sometimes called a proxy).


A function of cryptography. Confidentiality guarantees that only the intended recipient(s) of a message can view the message (decrypt the ciphertext).

connect descriptor

A specially formatted description of the destination for a network connection. A connect descriptor contains destination service and network route information. The destination service is indicated by using its service name for Oracle9i or Oracle8i databases or its Oracle system identifier (SID) for Oracle databases version 8.0. The network route provides, at a minimum, the location of the listener through use of a network address. See connect identifier

connect identifier

A name, net service name, or service name that resolves to a connect descriptor. Users initiate a connect request by passing a user name and password along with a connect identifier in a connect string for the service to which they want to connect.

For example:

CONNECT username@connect_identifier
Enter password: password

connect string

Information the user passes to a service to connect, such as user name, password and net service name. For example:

CONNECT username@net_service_name
Enter password: password


A user name, password, or certificate used to gain access to the database.

CRL Distribution Point

(CRL DP) An optional extension specified by the X.509 version 3 certificate standard, which indicates the location of the Partitioned CRL where revocation information for a certificate is stored. Typically, the value in this extension is in the form of a URL. CRL DPs allow revocation information within a single certificate authority domain to be posted in multiple CRLs. CRL DPs subdivide revocation information into more manageable pieces to avoid proliferating voluminous CRLs, thereby providing performance benefits. For example, a CRL DP is specified in the certificate and can point to a file on a Web server from which that certificate's revocation information can be downloaded.


The practice of encoding and decoding data, resulting in secure messages.

data dictionary

A set of read-only tables that provide information about a database.

data redaction

The ability to mask data with different values. Oracle Data Redaction enables you to mask data in real time, that is, at the moment a user tries to access the data. You can mask all the data, a partial subset of the data, or display random values in place of the data.

See also redaction.

Data Encryption Standard (DES)

An older Federal Information Processing Standards encryption algorithm superseded by the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES).

Database Administrator

(1) A person responsible for operating and maintaining an Oracle Server or a database application. (2) An Oracle user name that has been given DBA privileges and can perform database administration functions. Usually the two meanings coincide. Many sites have multiple DBAs.

database alias

See net service name

Database Installation Administrator

Also called a database creator. This administrator is in charge of creating new databases. This includes registering each database in the directory using the Database Configuration Assistant. This administrator has create and modify access to database service objects and attributes. This administrator can also modify the Default domain.

database link

A network object stored in the local database or in the network definition that identifies a remote database, a communication path to that database, and optionally, a user name and password. Once defined, the database link is used to access the remote database.

A public or private database link from one database to another is created on the local database by a DBA or user.

A global database link is created automatically from each database to every other database in a network with Oracle Names. Global database links are stored in the network definition.

database password verifier

A database password verifier is an irreversible value that is derived from the user's database password. This value is used during password authentication to the database to prove the identity of the connecting user.

Database Security Administrator

The highest level administrator for database enterprise user security. This administrator has permissions on all of the enterprise domains and is responsible for:

  • Administering the Oracle DBSecurityAdmins and OracleDBCreators groups.

Creating new enterprise domains.

  • Moving databases from one domain to another within the enterprise.


The process of converting the contents of an encrypted message (ciphertext) back into its original readable format (plaintext).

dictionary attack

A common attack on passwords. The attacker creates a list of many common passwords and encrypts them. Then the attacker steals a file containing encrypted passwords and compares it to his list of encrypted common passwords. If any of the encrypted password values (called verifiers) match, then the attacker can steal the corresponding password. Dictionary attacks can be avoided by using salt on the password before encryption.

Diffie-Hellman key negotiation algorithm

This is a method that lets two parties communicating over an insecure channel to agree upon a random number known only to them. Though the parties exchange information over the insecure channel during execution of the Diffie-Hellman key negotiation algorithm, it is computationally infeasible for an attacker to deduce the random number they agree upon by analyzing their network communications. Oracle Advanced Security uses the Diffie-Hellman key negotiation algorithm to generate session keys.

digital signature

A digital signature is created when a public key algorithm is used to sign the sender's message with the sender's private key. The digital signature assures that the document is authentic, has not been forged by another entity, has not been altered, and cannot be repudiated by the sender.

directory information tree (DIT)

A hierarchical tree-like structure consisting of the DNs of the entries in an LDAP directory. See distinguished name (DN)

directory naming

A naming method that resolves a database service, net service name, or net service alias to a connect descriptor stored in a central directory server. A

directory naming context

A subtree which is of significance within a directory server. It is usually the top of some organizational subtree. Some directories only permit one such context which is fixed; others permit none to many to be configured by the directory administrator.

distinguished name (DN)

The unique name of a directory entry. It is comprised of all of the individual names of the parent entries back to the root entry of the directory information tree. See directory information tree (DIT)


Any tree or subtree within the Domain Name System (DNS) namespace. Domain most commonly refers to a group of computers whose host names share a common suffix, the domain name.

Domain Name System (DNS)

A system for naming computers and network services that is organized into a hierarchy of domains. DNS is used in TCP/IP networks to locate computers through user-friendly names. DNS resolves a friendly name into an IP address, which is understood by computers.

In Oracle Net Services, DNS translates the host name in a TCP/IP address into an IP address.

encrypted text

Text that has been encrypted, using an encryption algorithm; the output stream of an encryption process. The text is not readable or decipherable, without first being subject to decryption. Also called ciphertext. Encrypted text ultimately originates as plaintext.


The process of disguising a message rendering it unreadable to any except for the intended recipient.

enterprise domain

A directory construct that consists of a group of databases and enterprise roles. A database should only exist in one enterprise domain at any time. Enterprise domains are different from Windows 2000 domains, which are collections of computers that share a common directory database.

Enterprise Domain Administrator

User authorized to manage a specific enterprise domain, including the authority to add new enterprise domain administrators.

enterprise role

Access privileges assigned to enterprise users. A set of Oracle role-based authorizations across one or more databases in an enterprise domain. Enterprise roles are stored in the directory and contain one or more global roles.

enterprise user

A user defined and managed in a directory. Each enterprise user has a unique identify across an enterprise.


The building block of a directory, it contains information about an object of interest to directory users.

external authentication

Verification of a user identity by a third party authentication service, such as Kerberos or RADIUS.

Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS)

A U.S. government standard that defines security requirements for cryptographic modules—employed within a security system protecting unclassified information within computer and telecommunication systems. Published by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).


A group of one or more Active Directory trees that trust each other. All trees in a forest share a common schema, configuration, and global catalog. When a forest contains multiple trees, the trees do not form a contiguous namespace. All trees in a given forest trust each other through transitive bidirectional trust relationships.

forwardable ticket-granting ticket

In Kerberos. A service ticket with the FORWARDABLE flag set. This flag enables authentication forwarding without requiring the user to enter a password again.

global role

A role managed in a directory, but its privileges are contained within a single database. A global role is created in a database by using the following syntax:


grid computing

A computing architecture that coordinates large numbers of servers and storage to act as a single large computer. Oracle Grid Computing creates a flexible, on-demand computing resource for all enterprise computing needs. Applications running on the Oracle 10g grid computing infrastructure can take advantage of common infrastructure services for failover, software provisioning, and management. Oracle Grid Computing analyzes demand for resources and adjusts supply accordingly.


Hypertext Transfer Protocol: The set of rules for exchanging files (text, graphic images, sound, video, and other multimedia files) on the World Wide Web. Relative to the TCP/IP suite of protocols (which are the basis for information exchange on the Internet), HTTP is an application protocol.


The use of Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) as a sublayer under the regular HTTP application layer.


The combination of the public key and any other public information for an entity. The public information may include user identification data such as, for example, an e-mail address. A user certified as being the entity it claims to be.

identity management

The creation, management, and use of online, or digital, entities. Identity management involves securely managing the full life cycle of a digital identity from creation (provisioning of digital identities) to maintenance (enforcing organizational policies regarding access to electronic resources), and, finally, to termination.

identity management realm

A subtree in Oracle Internet Directory, including not only an Oracle Context, but also additional subtrees for users and groups, each of which are protected with access control lists.


A query that is designed to find data by repeatedly trying queries. For example, to find the users who earn the highest salaries, an intruder could use the following query:


FIRST_NAME           LAST_NAME                     SALARY
-------------------- ------------------------- ----------
Steven               King                           24000
Neena                Kochhar                        17000
Lex                  De Haan                        17000

initial ticket

In Kerberos authentication, an initial ticket or ticket granting ticket (TGT) identifies the user as having the right to ask for additional service tickets. No tickets can be obtained without an initial ticket. An initial ticket is retrieved by running the okinit program and providing a password.


Every running Oracle database is associated with an Oracle instance. When a database is started on a database server (regardless of the type of computer), Oracle allocates a memory area called the System Global Area (SGA) and starts an Oracle process. This combination of the SGA and an Oracle process is called an instance. The memory and the process of an instance manage the associated database's data efficiently and serve the one or more users of the database.


The guarantee that the contents of the message received were not altered from the contents of the original message sent.

java code obfuscation

Java code obfuscation is used to protect Java programs from reverse engineering. A special program (an obfuscator) is used to scramble Java symbols found in the code. The process leaves the original program structure intact, letting the program run correctly while changing the names of the classes, methods, and variables in order to hide the intended behavior. Although it is possible to decompile and read non-obfuscated Java code, the obfuscated Java code is sufficiently difficult to decompile to satisfy U.S. government export controls.

Java Database Connectivity (JDBC)

An industry-standard Java interface for connecting to a relational database from a Java program, defined by Sun Microsystems.


Key Distribution Center. In Kerberos authentication, the KDC maintains a list of user principals and is contacted through the kinit (okinit is the Oracle version) program for the user's initial ticket. Frequently, the KDC and the Ticket Granting Service are combined into the same entity and are simply referred to as the KDC. The Ticket Granting Service maintains a list of service principals and is contacted when a user wants to authenticate to a server providing such a service. The KDC is a trusted third party that must run on a secure host. It creates ticket-granting tickets and service tickets.


A network authentication service developed under Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Project Athena that strengthens security in distributed environments. Kerberos is a trusted third-party authentication system that relies on shared secrets and assumes that the third party is secure. It provides single sign-on capabilities and database link authentication (MIT Kerberos only) for users, provides centralized password storage, and enhances PC security.


When encrypting data, a key is a value which determines the ciphertext that a given algorithm will produce from given plaintext. When decrypting data, a key is a value required to correctly decrypt a ciphertext. A ciphertext is decrypted correctly only if the correct key is supplied.

With a symmetric encryption algorithm, the same key is used for both encryption and decryption of the same data. With an asymmetric encryption algorithm (also called a public-key encryption algorithm or public-key cryptosystem), different keys are used for encryption and decryption of the same data.

key pair

A public key and its associated private key. See public and private key pair

keytab file

A Kerberos key table file containing one or more service keys. Hosts or services use keytab files in the same way as users use their passwords.


An instantiation or location of a Kerberos authenticated service. This is an arbitrary string, but the host Computer name for a service is typically specified.


An arbitrary name of a Kerberos service object.

ldap.ora file

A file created by Oracle Net Configuration Assistant that contains the following directory server access information:

  • Type of directory server

  • Location of the directory server

  • Default identity management realm or Oracle Context (including ports) that the client or server will use

Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP)

A standard, extensible directory access protocol. It is a common language that LDAP clients and servers use to communicate. The framework of design conventions supporting industry-standard directory products, such as the Oracle Internet Directory.


A process that resides on the server whose responsibility is to listen for incoming client connection requests and manage the traffic to the server.

Every time a client requests a network session with a server, a listener receives the actual request. If the client information matches the listener information, then the listener grants a connection to the server.

listener.ora file

A configuration file for the listener that identifies the:

  • Listener name

  • Protocol addresses that it is accepting connection requests on

  • Services it is listening for

The listener.ora file typically resides in $ORACLE_HOME/network/admin on UNIX platforms and ORACLE_BASE\ORACLE_HOME\network\admin on Windows.


A security attack characterized by the third-party, surreptitious interception of a message, wherein the third-party, the man-in-the-middle, decrypts the message, re-encrypts it (with or without alteration of the original message), and re-transmits it to the originally-intended recipient—all without the knowledge of the legitimate sender and receiver. This type of security attack works only in the absence of authentication.

message authentication code

Also known as data authentication code (DAC). A checksumming with the addition of a secret key. Only someone with the key can verify the cryptographic checksum.

message digest

See checksumming

naming method

The resolution method used by a client application to resolve a connect identifier to a connect descriptor when attempting to connect to a database service.

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce responsible for the development of security standards related to the design, acquisition, and implementation of cryptographic-based security systems within computer and telecommunication systems, operated by a Federal agency or by a contractor of a Federal agency or other organization that processes information on behalf of the Federal Government to accomplish a Federal function.

net service alias

An alternative name for a directory naming object in a directory server. A directory server stores net service aliases for any defined net service name or database service. A net service alias entry does not have connect descriptor information. Instead, it only references the location of the object for which it is an alias. When a client requests a directory lookup of a net service alias, the directory determines that the entry is a net service alias and completes the lookup as if it was actually the entry it is referencing.

net service name

A simple name for a service that resolves to a connect descriptor. Users initiate a connect request by passing a user name and password along with a net service name in a connect string for the service to which they want to connect:

CONNECT username@net_service_name
Enter password: password

Depending on your needs, net service names can be stored in a variety of places, including:

  • Local configuration file, tnsnames.ora, on each client

  • Directory server

  • External naming service, such as NIS

network authentication service

A means for authenticating clients to servers, servers to servers, and users to both clients and servers in distributed environments. A network authentication service is a repository for storing information about users and the services on different servers to which they have access, as well as information about clients and servers on the network. An authentication server can be a physically separate computer, or it can be a facility co-located on another server within the system. To ensure availability, some authentication services may be replicated to avoid a single point of failure.

network listener

A listener on a server that listens for connection requests for one or more databases on one or more protocols. See listener


Incontestable proof of the origin, delivery, submission, or transmission of a message.


A process by which information is scrambled into a non-readable form, such that it is extremely difficult to de-scramble if the algorithm used for scrambling is not known.


A special program used to obfuscate Java source code. See obfuscation

object class

A named group of attributes. When you want to assign attributes to an entry, you do so by assigning to that entry the object classes that hold those attributes. All objects associated with the same object class share the same attributes.

Oracle Context

1. An entry in an LDAP-compliant internet directory called cn=OracleContext, under which all Oracle software relevant information is kept, including entries for Oracle Net Services directory naming and checksumming security.

There can be one or more Oracle Contexts in a directory. An Oracle Context is usually located in an identity management realm.

Oracle Data Redaction

A set of features that enables you to mask data in realtime, using either full masking, partial masking, random masking, or no masking.

See also actual data, redacted data, and redaction.

Oracle Net Services

An Oracle product that enables two or more computers that run the Oracle server or Oracle tools such as Designer/2000 to exchange data through a third-party network. Oracle Net Services support distributed processing and distributed database capability. Oracle Net Services is an open system because it is independent of the communication protocol, and users can interface Oracle Net to many network environments.

Oracle PKI certificate usages

Defines Oracle application types that a certificate supports.

Password-Accessible Domains List

A group of enterprise domains configured to accept connections from password-authenticated users.

PCMCIA cards

Small credit card-sized computing devices that comply with the Personal Computer Memory Card International Association (PCMCIA) standard. These devices, also called PC cards, are used for adding memory, modems, or as hardware security modules. PCMCIA cards that are used as hardware security modules securely store the private key component of a public and private key pair and some also perform the cryptographic operations as well.

peer identity

SSL connect sessions are between a particular client and a particular server. The identity of the peer may have been established as part of session setup. Peers are identified by X.509 certificate chains.


The Internet Privacy-Enhanced Mail protocols standard, adopted by the Internet Architecture Board to provide secure electronic mail over the Internet. The PEM protocols provide for encryption, authentication, message integrity, and key management. PEM is an inclusive standard, intended to be compatible with a wide range of key-management approaches, including both symmetric and public-key schemes to encrypt data-encrypting keys. The specifications for PEM come from four Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) documents: RFCs 1421, 1422, 1423, and 1424.

PKCS #10

An RSA Security, Inc., Public-Key Cryptography Standards (PKCS) specification that describes a syntax for certification requests. A certification request consists of a distinguished name, a public key, and optionally a set of attributes, collectively signed by the entity requesting certification. Certification requests are referred to as certificate requests in this manual. See certificate request

PKCS #11

An RSA Security, Inc., Public-Key Cryptography Standards (PKCS) specification that defines an application programming interface (API), called Cryptoki, to devices which hold cryptographic information and perform cryptographic operations. See PCMCIA cards

PKCS #12

An RSA Security, Inc., Public-Key Cryptography Standards (PKCS) specification that describes a transfer syntax for storing and transferring personal authentication credentials—typically in a format called a wallet.


Message text that has not been encrypted.


A string that uniquely identifies a client or server to which a set of Kerberos credentials is assigned. It generally has three parts: kservice/kinstance@REALM. In the case of a user, kservice is the user name.

See also kservice, kinstance, and realm.

private key

In public-key cryptography, this key is the secret key. It is primarily used for decryption but is also used for encryption with digital signatures.

See public and private key pair.

proxy authentication

A process typically employed in an environment with a middle tier such as a firewall, wherein the end user authenticates to the middle tier, which thence authenticates to the directory on the user's behalf—as its proxy. The middle tier logs into the directory as a proxy user. A proxy user can switch identities and, once logged into the directory, switch to the end user's identity. It can perform operations on the end user's behalf, using the authorization appropriate to that particular end user.

public key

One of two keys that are used in public key cryptography, the other key being the private key. In typical public key cryptography usage, the public key is used to encrypt data or verify digital signatures. The the private key is used to decrypt data or generate digital signatures. The public key, unlike the private key, can be made available to anyone whereas the private key must remain secret.

See public and private key pair.

public key encryption

The process where the sender of a message encrypts the message with the public key of the recipient. Upon delivery, the message is decrypted by the recipient using its private key.

public key infrastructure (PKI)

Information security technology utilizing the principles of public key cryptography. Public key cryptography involves encrypting and decrypting information using a shared public and private key pair. Provides for secure, private communications within a public network.

public and private key pair

A set of two numbers used for encryption and decryption, where one is called the private key and the other is called the public key. Public keys are typically made widely available, while private keys are held by their respective owners. Though mathematically related, it is generally viewed as computationally infeasible to derive the private key from the public key. Public and private keys are used only with asymmetric encryption algorithms, also called public-key encryption algorithms, or public-key cryptosystems. Data encrypted with either a public key or a private key from a key pair can be decrypted with its associated key from the key-pair. However, data encrypted with a public key cannot be decrypted with the same public key, and data enwrapped with a private key cannot be decrypted with the same private key.


Remote Authentication Dial-In User Service (RADIUS) is a client/server protocol and software that enables remote access servers to communicate with a central server to authenticate dial-in users and authorize their access to the requested system or service.

redacted data

In an Oracle Data Redaction policy, masked data that is displayed to the querying user. For example, if the actual data is 3714-4963-5398-431, then the redacted data could appear, depending on the Data Redaction policy, as XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-431.


In an Oracle Data Redaction policy, the action the server performs on the actual data, in order to present redacted data to the querying user.

See also redaction.


1. Short for identity management realm. 2. A Kerberos object. A set of clients and servers operating under a single key distribution center/ticket-granting service (KDC/TGS). Services (see kservice) in different realms that share the same name are unique.

realm Oracle Context

An Oracle Context that is part of an identity management realm in Oracle Internet Directory.


A Windows repository that stores configuration information for a computer.

remote computer

A computer on a network other than the local computer.

root key certificate

See trusted certificate


1. In cryptography, generally speaking, "salt" is a way to strengthen the security of encrypted data. Salt is a random string that is added to the data before it is encrypted. Then, it is more difficult for attackers to steal the data by matching patterns of ciphertext to known ciphertext samples. 2. Salt is also used to avoid dictionary attacks, a method that unethical hackers (attackers) use to steal passwords. It is added to passwords before the passwords are encrypted. Then it is difficult for attackers to match the hash value of encrypted passwords (sometimes called verifiers) with their dictionary lists of common password hash values. See dictionary attack


1. Database schema: A named collection of objects, such as tables, views, clusters, procedures, packages, attributes, object classes, and their corresponding matching rules, which are associated with a particular user. 2. LDAP directory schema: The collection of attributes, object classes, and their corresponding matching rules.

schema mapping

See user-schema mapping

Secure Hash Algorithm (SHA)

An algorithm that assures data integrity by generating a 160-bit cryptographic message digest value from given data. If as little as a single bit in the data is modified, the Secure Hash Algorithm checksum for the data changes. Forgery of a given data set in a way that will cause the Secure Hash Algorithm to generate the same result as that for the original data is considered computationally infeasible.

An algorithm that takes a message of less than 264 bits in length and produces a 160-bit message digest. The algorithm is slightly slower than the previously supported MD5, but the larger message digest makes it more secure against brute-force collision and inversion attacks.

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)

An industry standard protocol designed by Netscape Communications Corporation for securing network connections. SSL provides authentication, encryption, and data integrity using public key infrastructure (PKI).

The Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol is the successor to the SSL protocol.


A provider of a service.


1. A network resource used by clients; for example, an Oracle database server.

2. An executable process installed in the Windows registry and administered by Windows. Once a service is created and started, it can run even when no user is logged on to the computer.

service name

For Kerberos-based authentication, the kservice portion of a service principal.

service principal

See principal

service key table

In Kerberos authentication, a service key table is a list of service principals that exist on a kinstance. This information must be extracted from Kerberos and copied to the Oracle server computer before Kerberos can be used by Oracle.

service ticket

A service ticket is trusted information used to authenticate the client, to a specific service or server, for a predetermined period of time. It is obtained from the KDC using the initial ticket.

session key

A key shared by at least two parties (usually a client and a server) that is used for data encryption for the duration of a single communication session. Session keys are typically used to encrypt network traffic; a client and a server can negotiate a session key at the beginning of a session, and that key is used to encrypt all network traffic between the parties for that session. If the client and server communicate again in a new session, they negotiate a new session key.

session layer

A network layer that provides the services needed by the presentation layer entities that enable them to organize and synchronize their dialogue and manage their data exchange. This layer establishes, manages, and terminates network sessions between the client and server. An example of a session layer is Network Session.

shared schema

A database or application schema that can be used by multiple enterprise users. Oracle Advanced Security supports the mapping of multiple enterprise users to the same shared schema on a database, which lets an administrator avoid creating an account for each user in every database. Instead, the administrator can create a user in one location, the enterprise directory, and map the user to a shared schema that other enterprise users can also map to. Sometimes called user/schema separation.

single key-pair wallet

A PKCS #12-format wallet that contains a single user certificate and its associated private key. The public key is imbedded in the certificate.

single password authentication

The ability of a user to authenticate with multiple databases by using a single password. In the Oracle Advanced Security implementation, the password is stored in an LDAP-compliant directory and protected with encryption and Access Control Lists.

single sign-on (SSO)

The ability of a user to authenticate once, combined with strong authentication occurring transparently in subsequent connections to other databases or applications. Single sign-on lets a user access multiple accounts and applications with a single password, entered during a single connection. Single password, single authentication. Oracle Advanced Security supports Kerberos and SSL-based single sign-on.

smart card

A plastic card (like a credit card) with an embedded integrated circuit for storing information, including such information as user names and passwords, and also for performing computations associated with authentication exchanges. A smart card is read by a hardware device at any client or server.

A smartcard can generate random numbers which can be used as one-time use passwords. In this case, smartcards are synchronized with a service on the server so that the server expects the same password generated by the smart card.


Device used to surreptitiously listen to or capture private data traffic from a network.

sqlnet.ora file

A configuration file for the client or server that specifies:

  • Client domain to append to unqualified service names or net service names

  • Order of naming methods the client should use when resolving a name

  • Logging and tracing features to use

  • Route of connections

  • Preferred Oracle Names servers

  • External naming parameters

  • Oracle Advanced Security parameters

The sqlnet.ora file typically resides in $ORACLE_HOME/network/admin on UNIX platforms and in ORACLE_BASE\ORACLE_HOME\network\admin on Windows platforms.

System Global Area (SGA)

A group of shared memory structures that contain data and control information for an Oracle instance.

system identifier (SID)

A unique name for an Oracle instance. To switch between Oracle databases, users must specify the desired SID. The SID is included in the CONNECT DATA parts of the connect descriptor in a tnsnames.ora file, and in the definition of the network listener in a listener.ora file.


A piece of information that helps identify who the owner is. See initial ticket and service ticket.


A file that contains connect descriptors; each connect descriptor is mapped to a net service name. The file may be maintained centrally or locally, for use by all or individual clients. This file typically resides in the following locations depending on your platform:

  • (UNIX) ORACLE_HOME/network/admin

  • (Windows) ORACLE_BASE\ORACLE_HOME\network\admin

token card

A device for providing improved ease-of-use for users through several different mechanisms. Some token cards offer one-time passwords that are synchronized with an authentication service. The server can verify the password provided by the token card at any given time by contacting the authentication service. Other token cards operate on a challenge-response basis. In this case, the server offers a challenge (a number) which the user types into the token card. The token card then provides another number (cryptographically-derived from the challenge), which the user then offers to the server.

transport layer

A networking layer that maintains end-to-end reliability through data flow control and error recovery methods. Oracle Net Services uses Oracle protocol supports for the transport layer.

Transport Layer Security (TLS)

An industry standard protocol for securing network connections. The TLS protocol is a successor to the SSL protocol. It provides authentication, encryption, and data integrity using public key infrastructure (PKI). The TLS protocol is developed by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF).

trusted certificate

A trusted certificate, sometimes called a root key certificate, is a third party identity that is qualified with a level of trust. The trusted certificate is used when an identity is being validated as the entity it claims to be. Typically, the certificate authorities you trust are called trusted certificates. If there are several levels of trusted certificates, a trusted certificate at a lower level in the certificate chain does not need to have all its higher level certificates reverified.

trusted certificate authority

See certificate authority

trust point

See trusted certificate

user name

A name that can connect to and access objects in a database.

user-schema mapping

An LDAP directory entry that contains a pair of values: the base in the directory at which users exist, and the name of the database schema to which they are mapped. The users referenced in the mapping are connected to the specified schema when they connect to the database. User-schema mapping entries can apply only to one database or they can apply to all databases in a domain. See shared schema

user/schema separation

See shared schema

user search base

The node in the LDAP directory under which the user resides.


Selective presentations of one or more tables (or other views), showing both their structure and their data.


A wallet is a data structure used to store and manage security credentials for an individual entity. A Wallet Resource Locator (WRL) provides all the necessary information to locate the wallet.

wallet obfuscation

Wallet obfuscation is used to store and access an Oracle wallet without querying the user for a password before access (supports single sign-on (SSO)).

Wallet Resource Locator

A wallet resource locator (WRL) provides all of the necessary information to locate a wallet. It is a path to an operating system directory that contains a wallet.

Windows native authentication

An authentication method that enables a client single login access to a Windows server and a database running on that server.


An industry-standard specification for digital certificates.