E Oracle Database FIPS 140-2 Settings

Oracle enables you to use the Oracle Database for the Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) standard for 140-2.


About the Oracle Database FIPS 140-2 Settings

The Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) standard, 140-2, is a U.S. government standard that defines cryptographic module security requirements.

The FIPS 140-2 cryptographic libraries are designed to protect data at rest and in transit over the network.

Oracle Database uses these cryptographic libraries for Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), Transparent Data Encryption (TDE), and DBMS_CRYPTO PL/SQL package.

To verify the current status of the certification, you can find information at the Computer Security Resource Center (CSRC) Web site address from the National Institute of Standards and Technology:


You can find information specific to FIPS by searching for Validated FIPS 140 Cryptographic Modules. The security policy, which is available on this site upon successful certification, includes requirements for secure configuration of the host operating system.

Configuring FIPS 140-2 for Transparent Data Encryption and DBMS_CRYPTO

The DBFIPS_140 initialization parameter configures FIPS mode.

  1. To configure Transparent Data Encryption and the DBMS_CRYPTO PL/SQL package program units to run in FIPS mode, set the DBFIPS_140 initialization parameter to TRUE.
    The effect of this parameter depends on the platform.
  2. Restart the database.

Table E-1 describes how the DBFIPS_140 parameter affects various platforms.

Table E-1 How the DBFIPS_140 Initialization Parameter Affects Platforms

Platform Effect of Setting DBFIPS_140 to TRUE or FALSE

Linux or Windows on Intel x86_64

  • TRUE: TDE and DBMS_CRYPTO program units use Micro Edition Suite (MES) FIPS mode

  • FALSE: TDE and DBMS_CRYPTO program units use Intel Performance Primitives (IPP)

Solaris 11.1+ on either SPARC T-series or Intel x86_64

  • TRUE: TDE and DBMS_CRYPTO program units use MES FIPS mode

  • FALSE: TDE and DBMS_CRYPTO program units use Solaris Cryptographic Framework (SCF)/UCrypto (separately validated for FIPS 140)

Other operating systems or hardware

  • TRUE: TDE and DBMS_CRYPTO program units use MES FIPS mode

  • FALSE: TDE and DBMS_CRYPTO program units use MES non-FIPS mode

Be aware that setting DBFIPS_140 to TRUE and thus using the underlying library in FIPS mode incurs a certain amount of overhead when the library is first loaded. This is due to the verification of the signature and the execution of the self tests on the library. Once the library is loaded, then there is no other impact on performance.

See Also:

Oracle Database Reference for more information about the DBFIPS_140 initialization parameter

Configuration of FIPS 140-2 for Secure Sockets Layer

You can configure the SSLFIPS_140 parameter for Secure Sockets Layer.


Configuring the SSLFIPS_140 Parameter for Secure Sockets Layer

Setting the SSLFIPS_140 parameter to TRUE in the fips.ora file configures the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) adapter to run in FIPS mode.

  1. Ensure that the fips.ora file is either located in the $ORACLE_HOME/ldap/admin directory, or is in a location pointed to by the FIPS_HOME environment variable.
  2. In the fips.ora file, set SSLFIPS_140.

    For example, to set SSLFIPS_140 to TRUE:


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

  3. Repeat this procedure in any Oracle Database home for any database server or client.

When you set SSLFIPS_140 to TRUE, Secure Sockets Layer cryptographic operations take place in the embedded RSA/Micro Edition Suite (MES) library in FIPS mode. These cryptographic operations are accelerated by the CPU when hardware acceleration is available and properly configured in the host hardware and software.

If you set SSLFIPS_140 to FALSE, then Secure Sockets Layer cryptographic operations take place in the embedded RSA/Micro Edition Suite (MES) library in non-FIPS mode, and as with the TRUE setting, the operations are accelerated if possible.

For native encryption, this behavior of cryptographic operations landing in RSA/Micro Edition Suite (MES) and being accelerated is similar to the above, except that it is determined by the FIPS_140 setting in sqlnet.ora (instead of the SSL_FIPS140 setting in fips.ora).


The SSLFIPS_140 parameter replaces the SQLNET.SSLFIPS_140 parameter used in Oracle Database 10g release 2 (10.2). You must set the parameter in the fips.ora file, and not the sqlnet.ora file.

Approved SSL Cipher Suites for FIPS 140-2

A cipher suite is a set of authentication, encryption, and data integrity algorithms that exchange 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 following cipher suites are approved for FIPS validation:






Oracle Database 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 or the listener.ora file.


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

Postinstallation Checks for FIPS 140-2

After you configure the FIPS 140-2 settings, you must verify permissions in the operating system.

The permissions are as follows:

  • Set execute permissions on all Oracle executable files to prevent the execution of Oracle Cryptographic Libraries by users who are unauthorized to do so, in accordance with the system security policy.

  • Set read and write permissions on all Oracle executable files to prevent accidental or deliberate reading or modification of Oracle Cryptographic Libraries by any user.

To comply with FIPS 140-2 Level 2 requirements, in the security policy, 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.

Verifying FIPS 140-2 Connections

To check if FIPS mode is enabled for SSL, you can enable tracing in the sqlnet.ora file.

You can find FIPS self-test messages in the trace file.
  1. Add the following lines to sqlnet.ora to enable tracing:

    For example:

  2. To check if FIPS mode is enabled for TDE and DBMS_CRYPTO, log into SQL*Plus and run the following command:

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