Joxean Koret released a whitepaper about Oracle Database Vault: Design Failures

Joxean Koret just released a whitepaper about Design Failures in Oracle Database Vault.

Joxean describes Oracle Database Vault (DBV) in his paper as „war against DBAs“ and explains various ways to bypass DBV on OS / file system level (e.g. trojanized oci library, backup, rootkits, …). Joxean is also talking about is the ancient problem „Quis custodiet ipsos custodes“ („Who will guard the guardians“ or „Who controls the police“). The solution for this problem is always the concept of segregation of duties (3 accounts instead of the powerful DBA). It’s clear that the current version of DBV has still many bugs (there are many open bugs from various companies unfixed).

I think this whitepaper shows a common misunderstanding of the product DBV itself. DBV was never designed to protect against attacks on OS/Filesystem level (e.g. it’s possible to disable DBV on OS level for applying patches). It’s just a framework to build more secure database systems together with other products like TDE, ASO, … together with a good architecture (apps, auditing, backup, …)

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