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Oracle® Database Security Guide
12c Release 1 (12.1)

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Changes in This Release for Oracle Database Security Guide

This preface contains:

Changes in Oracle Database Security 12c Release 1 (12.1)

The following are changes in Oracle Database Security Guide for Oracle Database 12c Release 1 (12.1):

New Features

The following features are new in this release:

Transparent Sensitive Data Protection to Protect Categories of Data

You can create Transparent Sensitive Data Protection policies that protect categories of data as a whole. Transparent Sensitive Data Protection enables you to quickly find all table columns in a database that hold sensitive data (such as credit card or Social Security numbers), classify this data, and then create a policy that protects this data as a whole for a given class. This feature enables you to create uniform policies for data throughout your organization.

See Chapter 11, "Using Transparent Sensitive Data Protection," for more information.

New Password Verification Functions

In previous releases, Oracle Database provided a password verification function, verify_function_11G, in the script utlpwdmg.sql. For this release, the script has been enhanced with the following two new additional functions that provide stronger levels of password verification:

  • ora12c_verify_function function checks for requirements such as the minimum number of characters in a password, that it is different from the previously set password, and so on.

  • ora12c_strong_verify_function function checks for the recommended requirements by the Department of Defense Database Security Technical Implementation Guide.

See the following sections for more information:

Ability to Attach Roles to Program Units

You now can attach database roles to the program units functions, procedures, and PL/SQL packages. This feature enables you to temporarily elevate privileges in the PL/SQL code without granting the role directly to the invoker of the code. The benefit of this feature is that it increases security for applications and helps to enforce the principle of least privilege.

See the following sections for more information:

Ability to Control Whether a Procedure Caller's Privileges Can Be Used

When a user runs an invoker's rights procedure (or program unit), it runs with the privileges of the invoking user. As the procedure runs, the procedure's owner temporarily has access to the invoking user's privileges. In the situation where a procedure owner has fewer privileges than an invoking user, the procedure owner could potentially modify the procedure to use the invoking user's privileges to perform operations unintended by or forbidden to its owner.

In previous releases, the invoking user had no control over who could have this access when he or she runs an invoker's rights procedure. Starting with this release, invoker's rights procedure calls only can run with the privileges of the invoker if the procedure's owner has the INHERIT PRIVILEGES privilege on the invoker or if the procedure's owner has the INHERIT ANY PRIVILEGES privilege.

The benefit of this feature is that it gives invoking users control over who has access to their privileges when they run invoker's rights procedures or query BEQUEATH CURRENT_USER views.

See the following sections for more information:

Ability to Accommodate Invoker's Rights Behavior in Referenced Views

In previous releases of Oracle Database, referenced invoker's rights functions in user-created views ran with the privileges of the user who defined the view, that is, with the view acting as definer's rights. Starting with this release, you can configure your views to run these functions with the view acting as either definer's rights or invoker's rights.

See the following for more information:

Better Security for External Procedures

For safety reasons, Oracle external procedures run in a process that is physically separate from the Oracle database. When you invoke an external procedure, Oracle Database creates the extproc operating system process (or agent), by using the operating system privileges of the user that started the listener for the database instance.

With this release, you can configure the extproc agent to run as a designated operating system credential instead of using the operating system privileges of the listener user or the Oracle server process. This feature enables you to define a credential to be associated with the extproc process, which then can authenticate impersonate (that is, run on behalf of the supplied user credential) before loading a user-defined shared library and executing a function. To configure the extproc user credential, you use a new PL/SQL package, DBMS_CREDENTIAL. As part of this new feature, the CREATE LIBRARY statement has been enhanced to enable you to associate the extproc user credential with a library.

See the following for more information:

Support for SHA-2 Cryptographic Hash Functions

Oracle Database now supports most of the SHA-2 cryptographic hash functions. You can use these functions in the following areas:

  • Network checksumming (SHA-256 and SHA-384 functions)

  • DBMS_CRYPTO PL/SQL package

Kerberos Enhancements

The Oracle Advanced Security Kerberos adapter is enhanced to make it more secure and easier to use. The new Kerberos adapter enables the following features:

  • Security enhancements that were introduced in the MIT Kerberos Release 1.8 distribution

  • Simplified Kerberos client configuration through auto-discovery of the KDC and Kerberos Realm

  • Latest and broadest compatibility with Kerberos servers on various host operating systems

See "Configuring Kerberos Authentication" for details about Kerberos enhancements and new, updated list of sqlnet.ora parameters.

Changes to Privileges for Greater Separation of Duty

For better separation of duty, Oracle Database now provides task-specific privileges to handle standard administration duties for Oracle Recovery Manager (Oracle RMAN), Oracle Data Guard, and Transparent Data Encryption. The new privileges are based on the least privilege principle, in which a user is granted only the absolutely necessary privileges required to perform a specific function, and no more. This feature alleviates the need to unnecessarily grant the SYSDBA administrative privilege for many tasks.

See "Managing Administrative Privileges" for more information about managing administrative privileges.

RESOURCE Role No Longer Grants the UNLIMITED TABLESPACE Privilege

Starting with this release, the RESOURCE role will no longer grant the UNLIMITED TABLESPACE system privilege by default. If you want users to have this system privilege, then you must manually grant it to them.

See "Predefined Roles in an Oracle Database Installation" for more information about default roles.

SELECT ANY DICTIONARY Privilege No Longer Accesses Some SYS Data Dictionary Tables

For better security, the SELECT ANY DICTIONARY system privilege no longer permits you to query the SYS schema system tables DEFAULT_PWD$, ENC$, LINK$, USER$, USER_HISTORY$, CDB_LOCAL_ADMINAUTH$, and XS$VERIFIERS. Only user SYS has access to these tables, but user SYS can grant object privileges (such as GRANT SELECT ON USER$ TO sec_admin) to other users.

See Oracle Database SQL Language Reference for more information about system and object privileges.

Controlling the Evaluation of Oracle Virtual Private Database Context Sensitive Policies

In previous releases, when you created Oracle Virtual Private Database (VPD) context-sensitive policies, Oracle Database evaluated the policy every time that any attribute of any context changed, even if the application context attribute did not affect the VPD context-sensitive policy. Starting with this release, you can enable Oracle Database to evaluate the VPD context-sensitive policy only if the associated application context attribute changes. You can associate application contexts and their attributes to specific VPD policies, which enables the VPD policies to generate new predicates only when the associated application context attributes change.

See "Using a Context-Sensitive Policy for Application Context Attributes That Change" for more information.

Support for Long Identifiers for the Virtual Private Database DBMS_RLS Package and Views

In previous releases of Oracle Database, the maximum length for object names (such as names of tables, schemas, policies, and functions) specified in the Oracle Virtual Private Database DBMS_RLS PL/SQL package procedures and in the related views for this package has been 30 bytes. Starting with this release, the maximum length is 128 bytes.

See Chapter 10, "Using Oracle Virtual Private Database to Control Data Access," for more information about Oracle Virtual Private Database.

Changes to Configuring Fine-Grained Access to Services and Wallets

In this release, the procedures to configure fine-grained access to external network services and to Oracle wallets have been simplified. The DBMS_NETWORK_ACL_ADMIN PL/SQL package has changed as follows:

Previous DBMS_NETWORK_ACL_ADMIN Procedure New Equivalent Procedure
CREATE_ACL

ADD_PRIVILEGE

ASSIGN_ACL

ASSIGN_WALLET_ACL

APPEND_HOST_ACE

APPEND_WALLET_ACE

N/A APPEND_HOST_ACL
N/A APPEND_WALLET_ACL
DELETE_PRIVILEGE

DROP_ACL

UNASSIGN_ACL

UNASSIGN_WALLET_ACL

REMOVE_HOST_ACE

REMOVE_WALLET_ACE

CHECK_PRIVILEGE None
CHECK_PRIVILEGE_ACLID None
N/A SET_HOST_ACL
N/A SET_WALLET_ACL

To accommodate these changed procedures, the following new data dictionary views are introduced in this release:

  • DBA_HOST_ACLS

  • DBA_HOST_ACES

  • USER_HOST_ACES

See the following sections for more information:

Significant Redesign in Auditing Functionality

For this release, the auditing functionality has been significantly redesigned from the functionality used in previous releases. When you install a new Release 12 Oracle database, the full set of auditing enhancement features (unified auditing) are automatically available. If you upgrade from a previous release, then you are given the option of using some of the new audit features and the audit functionality from the release that you upgraded from. Oracle strongly recommends that you migrate to the full set of latest audit features.

See Oracle Database Upgrade Guide for information about migrating to the new auditing capabilities.

Faster Audit Performance

This release provides a much faster audit performance than in previous releases of Oracle Database. You also can control how the audit records are written to the audit trail, whether immediately or queued to memory.

See "Writing the Unified Audit Trail Records to the AUDSYS Schema" for more information.

Unified Audit Data Trail

In previous releases of Oracle Database, there were separate audit trails for individual components: SYS.AUD$ for the database audit trail, SYS.FGA_LOG$ for fine-grained auditing, DVSYS.AUDIT_TRAIL$ for Oracle Database Vault, Oracle Label Security, and so on. In this release, these audit trails are all unified into one, viewable from the UNIFIED_AUDIT_TRAIL data dictionary view for single-instance installations Oracle Database Real Application Clusters environments.

A consolidated audit data trail has many advantages. This way, you can run analysis reports on an entire set of audit data in one operation, rather than having to first gather them into one location before performing the analysis. Audit mining tools such as Oracle Audit Vault and Database Firewall now can look at one location rather than several in order to gather audit records. A unified audit trail ensures that the audit information is consistently formatted and contains consistent fields.

See "Managing the Unified Audit Trail" for more information.

New Schema for the Unified Audit Trail

As part of the unified audit trail enhancement, a new schema, AUDSYS, will be used solely for storage of the unified audit trail data table. The existing audit data in the AUD$ and FGA_LOG$ system tables, audit metadata, and audit PL/SQL packages, will continue to reside in the SYS schema.

See "Managing the Unified Audit Trail" for more information.

Separation of Duties for Audit Administration

For better separation of duty, two new database roles are now available for use with auditing: AUDIT_ADMIN, for audit configuration and audit trail administration, and AUDIT_VIEWER, for viewing and analyzing audit data.

See "Who Can Perform Auditing?" for more information.

Ability to Create Named Unified Audit Policies

You now can create named unified audit policies. A unified audit policy contains a set of audit options and it is stored in the database as an object. The advantage of creating a named unified audit policy is that it reduces the number of commands that are required to create a database audit policy, and it simplifies the implementation of an audit configuration for security and compliance.

The following new SQL statements enable you to manage audit policies:

  • CREATE AUDIT POLICY

  • ALTER AUDIT POLICY

  • DROP AUDIT POLICY

In addition, the existing AUDIT and NOAUDIT statements now allow you to enable or disable unified audit policies, apply user to or exclude users from the policy, and set whether an audit record is created if the audited behavior fails, succeeds, or both.

See "Auditing Activities with Unified Audit Policies and the AUDIT Statement" for more information.

Ability to Audit Any Role

Starting with this release, you can audit any database role, including user-created roles. This enables you to audit all system privileges that have been granted to the role. The benefit of this feature is that it simplifies to a single command all activity that has been granted to a role. This eliminates the need to update a unified audit policy each time you update the role with new privileges or when new database users are added to the database and granted a role.

See "Auditing Roles" for more information.

Mandatory Recording of Auditing Actions

In this release, all actions that are associated with the audit capabilities are always audited. Auditing the audit administrator's actions helps to ensure the integrity of the audit policies that have been implemented in the Oracle database, for both security and compliance requirements.

See "Activities That Are Mandatorily Audited" for more information.

Oracle ACFS Auditing and Support for Importing Audit Data into the Oracle Audit Vault and Database Firewall Server

This feature provides auditing for Oracle Automatic Storage Management Cluster File System (ACFS) security and encryption. In addition, this feature also generates an XML file containing the Oracle ACFS audit trail data which can be imported by the Oracle Audit Vault and Database Firewall Server. This way, you can take advantage of the Oracle Audit Vault and Database Firewall functionality for the storage and reporting of Oracle ACFS audit data.

See Oracle Automatic Storage Management Administrator's Guide for more information.

User, Privilege, and Role Support for the Oracle Multitenant Option

This release of Oracle Database introduces the Oracle Multitenant option, which enables an Oracle database to contain a portable set of schemas and non-schema objects (such as editions, roles, and so on) that appears to users and applications as if it were a separate database. Each set of these objects is called a pluggable database (PDB) and the database that stores these PDBs is called a multitenant container database (CDB).

Oracle Database 12c Release 1 (12.1) supports both CDBs and non-CDBs. This guide explains how to manage CDB and non-CDB user accounts, privileges, and roles.

See the following for more information:

Ability to Use Password Files for Automatic Storage Management

Oracle Automatic Storage Management (ASM) now supports storing password files inside ASM disk groups.

See Oracle Automatic Storage Management Administrator's Guide for more information about managing password files for Automatic Storage Management.

New Secure Sockets Layer Cipher Suites

The following Secure Sockets Layer cipher suites are available starting with this release:

Cipher Suites Authentication Encryption Data Integrity
SSL_ECDHE_ECDSA_WITH_AES_128_CBC_SHA ECDHE_ECDSA AES 128 CBC SHA-1
SSL_ECDHE_ECDSA_WITH_AES_128_CBC_SHA256 ECDHE_ECDSA AES 128 CBC SHA256 (SHA-2)
SSL_ECDHE_ECDSA_WITH_AES_128_GCM_SHA256 ECDHE_ECDSA AES 128 GCM SHA256 (SHA-2)
SSL_ECDHE_ECDSA_WITH_AES_256_CBC_SHA ECDHE_ECDSA AES 256 CBC SHA-1
SSL_ECDHE_ECDSA_WITH_AES_256_CBC_SHA384 ECDHE_ECDSA AES 256 CBC SHA384 (SHA-2)
SSL_ECDHE_ECDSA_WITH_AES_256_GCM_SHA384 ECDHE_ECDSA AES 256 GCM SHA384 (SHA-2)
SSL_RSA_WITH_AES_128_CBC_SHA256 RSA AES 128 CBC SHA256 (SHA-2)
SSL_RSA_WITH_AES_128_GCM_SHA256 RSA AES 128 GCM SHA256 (SHA-2)
SSL_RSA_WITH_AES_256_CBC_SHA256 RSA AES 256 CBC SHA256 (SHA-2)
SSL_RSA_WITH_AES_256_GCM_SHA384 RSA AES 256 GCM SHA384 (SHA-2)

See Table 18-1 for a full list of supported Secure Sockets Layer cipher suites.

Deprecated Features

The following features are deprecated in this release:

Deprecation of the SQLNET.ALLOWED_LOGON_VERSION Parameter

Starting with this release, the Oracle Net Services SQLNET.ALLOWED_LOGON_VERSION parameter is being deprecated. The following two parameters replace it:

  • SQLNET.ALLOWED_LOGON_VERSION_SERVER

  • SQLNET.ALLOWED_LOGON_VERSION_CLIENT

By having a server version and a client version of the SQLNET.ALLOWED_LOGON_VERSION parameter, you have more flexibility when you must configure servers that use database links. When you process a query that involves a connected database link, the server acts as a client to the target database of the database link. For example, suppose you have an Oracle Database 12c Release 1 (12.1) database that connects to an Oracle 9i database. By setting the SQLNET.ALLOWED_LOGON_VERSION_SERVER parameter to 11 and the SQLNET.ALLOWED_LOGON_VERSION_CLIENT parameter to 8, you restrict connections to the Oracle Database 12c database to only clients running Oracle Database Release 11 or later. However, these setting still enable the Oracle Database 12c server to act as a client to the older Oracle 9i database.

See the following for more information:

Deprecation of the ORAPWD Utility IGNORECASE Argument

Starting with this release, the IGNORECASE argument of the ORAPWD utility, which you use to create password files, is deprecated. By default, IGNORECASE is set to N (no), which makes passwords case sensitive. For better security, ensure that IGNORECASE is set to N, or you can omit it entirely.

See Also:

"How Case Sensitivity Affects Password Files" for more information about case sensitivity in password files

Deprecation of the SEC_CASE_SENSITIVE_LOGON Initialization Parameter

The SEC_CASE_SENSITIVE_LOGON initialization parameter, which enables or disables case sensitivity for passwords, is deprecated because the standards-based verifiers (SHA-1) do not support case sensitive password matching. However, for backward compatibility reasons, this parameter is available for this release. For better security, ensure that this parameter is set to TRUE, so that database logon passwords are case sensitive.

See the following for more information:

Deprecated DBMS_NETWORK_ACL_ADMIN Package Procedures and Views

The following procedures in the DBMS_NETWORK_ACL_ADMIN PL/SQL package have been deprecated:

  • CREATE_ACL

  • ADD_PRIVILEGE

  • DELETE_PRIVILEGE

  • ASSIGN_ACL

  • UNASSIGN_ACL

  • DROP_ACL

  • ASSIGN_WALLET_ACL

  • UNASSIGN_WALLET_ACL

  • CHECK_PRIVILEGE

  • CHECK_PRIVILEGE_ACLID

The following DBMS_NETWORK_ACL_ADMIN package-related data dictionary views have been deprecated:

  • DBA_NETWORK_ACLS

  • DBA_NETWORK_ACL_PRIVILEGES

  • USER_NETWORK_ACL_PRIVILEGES

See the following sections for more information:

Deprecation of the DELETE_CATALOG_ROLE Role

The DELETE_CATALOG_ROLE role is deprecated in Oracle Database 12c Release 1 (12.1).

Desupported Features

This section contains:

Desupported Secure Sockets Layer Cipher Suites

The following Secure Sockets Layer cipher suites are desupported.

Cipher Suites Authentication Encryption Data Integrity
SSL_DH_anon_WITH_DES_CBC_SHA DH anon DES CBC SHA-1
SSL_RSA_EXPORT_WITH_DES40_CBC_SHA RSA DES40 CBC SHA-1
SSL_RSA_EXPORT_WITH_RC4_40_MD5 RSA RC4 40 MD5
SSL_RSA_WITH_DES_CBC_SHA RSA DES CBC SHA-1

See Table 18-1 for a full list of supported Secure Sockets Layer cipher suites.

Other Changes

Oracle Advanced Security has been repackaged for greater availability. The following features are now no longer part of Oracle Advanced Security and are provided with the default Oracle Database installation.

  • Thin JDBC Client Network support

  • RADIUS strong authentication

  • Kerberos strong authentication

  • Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) strong authentication

  • Multiple strong authentication support

For detailed information about these features, see this guide.

The following features are part of Oracle Advanced Security and are covered in Oracle Database Advanced Security Guide:

  • Transparent Data Encryption

  • Oracle Data Redaction

As part of this change, Oracle Database Advanced Security Administrator's Guide has been renamed to Oracle Database Advanced Security Guide.