Researcher Warns Of ‘Major’ Backdoor In Oracle E-Business Suite

The ‘gobsmacking’ configuration flaw means any user could gain complete control over the software, according to an Australian security expert

Versions of Oracle’s E-Business Suite contain a “major” backdoor that could be used to gain complete control of a database, according to Australian security researcher David Litchfield.

The vulnerability, which appears to be the result of a misconfiguration flaw, is one of the 167 bugs Oracle is patching across its product range on Tuesday, including 10 fixes for E-Business Suite. The suite includes enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM), and supply-chain management (SCM) applications.


Litchfield said he reported 11 of of the vulnerabilities to Oracle last year. “Some are critical and one of them I’m just gobsmacked by,” he said in a Twitter post.

The flaw allows any user to create a function that can execute with system administrator privileges, giving them complete control over the software, Litchfield said.

He discovered the error during a security review of a client’s systems, and at first thought it was a backdoor left by a hacker, since there appeared to be no good reason for it to exist.

Moreover, Oracle told Litchfield it was unable to explain why the privilege had been granted.

“There is no indication of when or why the grants were originally added,” Oracle said in its original response to Litchfield. “Development is going with the assumption that it was not necessary and removing the added grants.”

Critical rating

Oracle didn’t give technical details on these flaws, but in a pre-patch announcement it said six of the bugs could be exploited without authentication by remote attackers, and that the vulnerabilities have a maximum CVSS Base Score of 6.4 out of 10.

The patches affect Oracle E-Business Suite versions, 12.0.4, 12.0.5, 12.0.6, 12.1.1, 12.1.2, 12.1.3, 12.2.2, 12.2.3 and 12.2.4, Oracle said.

As part of its security efforts, Oracle recently added Leon Panetta, former US secretary of defense and former director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), to its board of directors.

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