Oracle pushes emergency DDoS vulnerability patch


Oracle has issued an out-of-cycle patch for a denial of service flaw in the Apache web server, versions httpd 2.0 or 2.2, affecting a range of products.

Whilst Oracle has not given the vulnerability a high rating, it noted how easily the flaw could be exploited.

The general unwillingness of Oracle to deviate from its once-every-three-months patch cycle spells one word, Importance.'

"This vulnerability may be remotely exploitable without authentication, i.e. it may be exploited over a network without the need for a username and password," Oracle noted in its security advisory.

"A remote user can exploit this vulnerability to impact the availability of un-patched systems."

Larry Ellison's firm recommended IT departments update their systems as soon as possible, due to "the threat posed by a successful attack."

Products affected include Oracle's Fusion Middleware and Application Server products. Oracle Enterprise Manager is also affected if the user is running the Fusion Middleware containing the vulnerability.

The flaw emerged last month, when the Apache Software Foundation revealed the denial-of-service vulnerability affected all versions of the Apache web server.

It worked by allowing a malicious user to exploit the Range feature in Apache web servers, which enables the pausing and resuming of downloads. An attack tool was spotted in the wild, giving hackers the power to overload a server by asking it to access multiple parts of a file simultaneously.

The Apache Software Foundation has already issued two patches to fix the problem in version 2.2. It sent out an initial patch towards the end of August, before issuing another to go on top of that fix.

"However conservative you might be, if you're an Oracle user, this patch is definitely recommended in a hurry," said Sophos' Paul Ducklin, in a blog post.

"The general unwillingness of Oracle to deviate from its once-every-three-months patch cycle spells one word, Importance.'"

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.