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February 28, 2009

On some 11.1 security features and enhancements

Filed under: Oracle 11g New Features,Oracle Security — H.Tonguç Yılmaz @ 6:30 am

Last week security was one of the hot topics at my company, I found myself writing and talking with one of my DBA friends on Oracle’s security options and the history, we agreed that security is one of the areas where in time Oracle invested a lot but still there were important failures all around the software. Then we started discussing on 11.1 security features and enhancements and I remembered reading some cool options from Lutz Hartmann‘s 11g New Features book related chapter, like;

– Against brute force attacks, sec_ax_failed_login_attemps specifies the number of unsuccessful authentication attempts before the client is dropped,
– Against denial of service attacks, sec_protocol_error_further_action and sec_protocol_error_trace_action specify how the database should react, sec_protocol_error_further_action with DELAY,n option specify in seconds how long the server waits before it accepts further requests and sec_protocol_error_trace_action with LOG option creates a short audit log instead of creating huge trace files with TRACE option,
– 11g’s password verification function(utlpwdmg.sql) is enhanced,
– After 11g Audit is by default enabled and audit_trail is set to DB,
– sqlnet.allowed_logon_versions parameter defined the minimum client version that is allowed to connect.

And much more of them in the chapter, but they did not mention who wrote which chapters in the book. Where as it is so obvious that which chapters belong to Lutz in the book since he put a lot of efforts with chapters 8(security), 10(change management), 11(sql management), 12(Flashback) and 13(ASM) with examples they beautifully help understanding the new enhancements after 11.1 on these areas. Also I caught that using your name as a username at the SQL*Plus prompt is a good technique to claim your examples later on(Kyte and Foote uses this technique a lot) :)

I must of course mention that the other chapters of the other authors in this book were big disappointments for me, I thought what if Lutz didn’t write for the book will they still publish this book since there is nearly no value added to the already available text at Oracle’s documentation? Who knows. There is an important lesson for me here, if one day I decide to write a book I will choose to write alone or choose the co-authors and the press I will work with very carefully. Since I love reading Lutz and he is not blogging like the old days because he was angry to some people copying his blog posts and making money out of them, I hope he chooses to write alone for his future book projects and I can consume more of his quality Oracle readings.

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