Changes in This Release for Oracle Database Security Guide

This preface contains:

Changes in Oracle Database Security 19c

Oracle Database Security Guide for Oracle Database 19c has new security features.

Signature-Based Security for LOB Locators

Starting with this release, you can configure signature-based security for large object (LOB) locators.

This feature strengthens the security of Oracle Database LOBs, particularly when instances of LOB data types (CLOB and BLOB) are used in distributed environments.

LOB signature keys can be in both multitenant PDBs or in standalone, non-multitenant databases. You can enable the encryption of the LOB signature key credentials by executing the ALTER DATABASE DICTIONARY ENCRYPT CREDENTIALS SQL statement; otherwise, the credentials are stored in obfuscated format. If you choose to store the LOB signature key in encrypted format, then the database or PDB must have an open TDE keystore.

Default User Accounts Now Schema Only

Using the schema only account feature from Oracle Database release 18c, most of the Oracle Database supplied schemas (users) now have their passwords removed to prevent users from authenticating to these accounts.

This enhancement does not affect the sample schemas. Sample schemas are still installed with their default passwords.

For the default schemas that are schema only, administrators can still alter these accounts with passwords if they need to authenticate to the schema, but Oracle recommends changing the schemas back to a schema-only account afterward.

The benefit of this feature is that administrators no longer have to periodically rotate the passwords for these Oracle Database-provided schemas. This feature also reduces the security risk of attackers using default passwords to hack into these accounts.

Privilege Analysis Documentation Moved to Oracle Database Security Guide

The documentation for privilege analysis has moved from Oracle Database Vault Administrator’s Guide to Oracle Database Security Guide.

See Oracle Database Licensing Information User Manual for privilege analysis licensing information.

Ability to Grant or Revoke Administrative Privileges to and from Schema-Only Accounts

Administrative privileges such as SYSOPER and SYSBACKUP can now be granted to schema-only (passwordless) accounts.

Existing user accounts (active, rarely accessed, and unused users) that are currently granted administrative privileges can be altered to be schema-only accounts. This enhancement prevents administrators from having to manage the passwords of these accounts.

Automatic Support for Both SASL and Non-SASL Active Directory Connections

Starting with this release, both Simple Authentication and Security Layer (SASL) and Transport Layer Security (TLS) binds are supported for Microsoft Active Directory connections.

For centrally managed users, the Oracle database will initially try to connect to Active Directory using SASL bind. If the Active Directory server rejects the SASL bind connection, then the Oracle database will automatically attempt the connection again without SASL bind but still secured with TLS.

The Active Directory administrator is responsible for configuring the connection parameters for Active Directory server, but does not need to configure the database to match this new Active Directory connection enhancement. The database will automatically adjust from using SASL to not using SASL bind.

Support for Oracle Native Encryption and TLS Authentication for Different Users Concurrently

In previous releases, Oracle Database prevented the use of both Oracle native encryption (also called Advanced Networking Option (ANO) encryption) and Transport Layer Security (TLS) authentication together.

Starting with this release, you can set a new parameter, SQLNET.IGNORE_ANO_ENCRYPTION_FOR_TCPS, to TRUE to ignore the SQLNET.ENCRYPTION_CLIENT or SQLNET.ENCRYPTION_SERVER when there is a conflict between the use of a TCPS client and either of these two parameters are set to required.

Support for Host Name-Based Partial DN Matching for Matching for Server Certificates

This new support for partial DN matching adds the ability for the client to further verify the server certificate.

The earlier ability to perform a full DN match with the server certificate during the Transport Layer Security (TLS) handshake is still supported. The client supports both full and partial DN matching. If the server DN matching is enabled, then partial DN matching is the default.

Allowing partial and full DN matching for certificate verification enables more flexibility based on how the certificates were created.

Ability to Audit Only Top-Level SQL Statements

The unified auditing top-level statements feature enables you to audit top level user (or, direct user) activities in the database but without collecting indirect user activity audit data.

You can use this feature to audit only the top-level user directly issued events, without the overhead of indirect SQL statements. Top-level statements are SQL statements that users directly issue. These statements can be important for both security and compliance. SQL statements run from within PL/SQL procedures or functions are not considered top level, so they may be less relevant for auditing purposes.

Improved Read Performance for the Unified Audit Trial

The AUDSYS.AUD$UNIFIED system table, which stores the unified audit trail records, has been redesigned to use partition pruning to improve read performance.

This redesign entailed the addition of a new column to the AUDSYS.AUD$UNIFIED table. The UNIFIED_AUDIT_TRAIL data dictionary view, which enables you to query the AUDSYS.AUD$UNIFIED table audit records, now has the EVENT_TIMESTAMP_UTC column to correspond with the new AUDSYS.AUD$UNIFIED table column. As part of this enhancement, the data type of the EVENT_TIMESTAMP column in the GV$UNIFIED_AUDIT_TRAIL view has changed TIMESTAMP(6).

Oracle recommends that when you query the UNIFIED_AUDIT_TRAIL view, to include the EVENT_TIMESTAMP_UTC column in the WHERE clause to achieve partitioning pruning.

SYSLOG Destination for Common Unified Audit Policies

Available with Oracle Database release 19.9, certain predefined columns of unified audit records from common unified audit policies can be written to the UNIX SYSLOG destination.

To enable this feature, you set UNIFIED_AUDIT_COMMON_SYSTEMLOG, a new CDB level init.ora parameter. This enhancement enables all audit records from common unified audit policies to be consolidated into a single destination.

This feature is available only on UNIX platforms, not Windows.

PDB_GUID as Audit Record Field Name for SYSLOG and the Windows Event Viewer

The audit record fields for SYSLOG and the Windows Event Viewer now have a new field, PDB_GUID, to identify the pluggable database associated with a unified audit trail record.

In a multitenant database deployment, the pluggable database that generated a unified audit trail record must be identified in the audit trail. Starting with this release, the SYSLOG and Windows Event Viewer will have a new field, PDB_GUID, to capture this information. The data type is VARCHAR2.

Updates to Oracle Database Security 19c

Oracle Database release 19c has several updates from the last update of release 19c.

Identity and Access Management Integration with Oracle Autonomous Cloud Databases

Available for Oracle Database release 19.13, Identity and Access Management (IAM) users can log in to an Oracle Autonomous Database on Shared Exadata Infrastructure using either password or token-based authentication.

An IAM ADMIN user can configure both the authentication and authorization of IAM users and IAM groups. The IAM user can log in to the Oracle Autonomous Database using tools such as SQL*Plus or SQLcl.

This enhancement provides the security advantages of both IAM and Oracle Database. For example, the Oracle Database gradual password rollover feature can be used in this configuration and update the application passwords without downtime.

Gradual Database Password Rollover for Applications

Available for Oracle Database release 19.12, an application can change its database passwords without an administrator having to schedule downtime.

To accomplish this, a database administrator can associate a profile having a non-zero limit for the PASSWORD_ROLLOVER_TIME password profile parameter, new with this release, with an application schema. This allows the database password of the application user to be altered while allowing the older password to remain valid for the time specified by the PASSWORD_ROLLOVER_TIME limit. During the rollover period of time, the application instance can use either the old password or the new password to connect to the database server. When the rollover time expires, only the new password is allowed.

Before this enhancement, an administrator normally took the application down when the application database password was being rotated. This is because the password update requires changes on both the database and the application side. With the gradual database password rollover enhancement, the application can continue to use the older password until the new password is configured in the application.

In addition to the new clause PASSWORD_ROLLOVER_TIME in the CREATE PROFILE and ALTER PROFILE statements, the ALTER USER statement has a new clause, EXPIRE PASSWORD ROLLOVER PERIOD. The ACCOUNT_STATUS column of the DBA_USERS and USER_USERS data dictionary views have several new statuses indicating values to indicate rollover status.

Ability to Use Multiple Kerberos Principals with a Single Database Client

Available for Oracle Database release 19.10, when you configure Kerberos authentication for an Oracle Database client, you can specify multiple Kerberos principals with a single Oracle Database client.

To enable this functionality, you will need to create a separate credential cache for each user in the client and then use the connect string to specify the user.

In previous releases, you were restricted to one Kerberos principal for each Oracle Database client.

Updated Support for Micro Edition Suite (MES) for FIPS 140.2

Available for Oracle Database release 19.10, Oracle Database supports Micro Edition Suite (MES) version 4.5 for FIPS 140.2.

The Micro Edition Suite (MES) version 4.5 updates include four new CVEs in the RSA BSAFE MES library, support for the rules that FIPS 140.2 requires, and access to the updated NZ/ZT library from the Crypto Foundation.

This enhancement enables the Oracle Database FIPS 140.2 configuration to benefit from new features and security improvements available from the latest RSA BSAFE MES library.

Support for DBMS_CRYPTO Asymmetric Key Operations

Available for Oracle Database release 19.9, the DBMS_CRYPTO PL/SQL package supports asymmetric key operations, in addition to the existing support for symmetric key operations.

To implement the support for asymmetric key operations, the following procedures have been added to the DBMS_CRYPTO package:

  • SIGN

SYSLOG Destination for Common Unified Audit Policies

Available with Oracle Database release 19.9, certain predefined columns of unified audit records from common unified audit policies can be written to the UNIX SYSLOG destination.

To enable this feature, you set UNIFIED_AUDIT_COMMON_SYSTEMLOG, a new CDB level init.ora parameter. This enhancement enables all audit records from common unified audit policies to be consolidated into a single destination.

This feature is available only on UNIX platforms, not Windows.

Security Update for Native Encryption

Oracle provides a patch that you can download to address necessary security enhancements that affect native network encryption environments in Oracle Database release 11.2 and later.

This patch is available in My Oracle Support note 2118136.2.

The supported algorithms that have been improved are as follows:

  • Encryption algorithms: AES128, AES192 and AES256
  • Checksumming algorithms: SHA1, SHA256, SHA384, and SHA512

Algorithms that are deprecated and should not be used are as follows:

  • Encryption algorithms: DES, DES40, 3DES112, 3DES168, RC4_40, RC4_56, RC4_128, and RC4_256
  • Checksumming algorithm: MD5

If your site requires the use of network native encryption, then you must download the patch that is described in My Oracle Support note 2118136.2. To enable a smooth transition for your Oracle Database installation, this patch provides two parameters that enable you to disable the weaker algorithms and start using the stronger algorithms. You will need to install this patch on both servers and clients in your Oracle Database installation.

An alternative to network native encryption is Transport Layer Security (TLS), which provides protection against person-in-the-middle attacks.