Re: OT: Oracle Critical Patch Article

  • From: "Paul Drake" <bdbafh@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: Chris.Taylor@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 15 Jan 2008 12:12:26 -0500

On Jan 15, 2008 10:42 AM, Taylor, Chris David <Chris.Taylor@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>

>  How many of you guys have seen this?
> What are your thoughts?  I know our organization falls into that category
> but primarily because we aren't exposed to the outside world.  We don't have
> external applications so most times I believe that critical patch updates
> can be applied during a normal maintenance period.
> *chris*

The press release is located here:

and Pete Finnigan wrote about it here:

Clearly, the company providing the figures has a self interest in having a
market for its products and services (which is disclaimed at the bottom of
the press release page).

"When asked: "Have you installed *the latest* Oracle CPU?" – Just 31 people,
or ten percent of the 305 respondents, reported that they applied the most
recently issued Oracle CPU."

I just downloaded "the latest" critical patch update this morning, as that
is when it was released. I plan to apply it in a testing environment later
this afternoon.
Perhaps semantics matter here just a bit.

Only 35 people in the survey replied yes to one of the questions. That's a
fairly small sample, statistically speaking. If a dba only gathered
(estimated) stats with a sample size of 32 blocks out of a table with say
32K blocks, I doubt that the stats would be very accurate.

Would developers be inclined to apply critical patch updates to development
servers (where there is no formal dba position)? I would think not.

Are critical patch updates available for Oracle XE databases? No.

Are some applications running on database versions or patchsets that do not
have critical patch updates made available? Yes. ( and to mind.)

Would a dba be concerned about remote vulnerabilities for databases that
support only connections from application servers that are secured? Probably

I'm skeptical that the results are representative and are useful for
anything other than stirring discussion (and marketing).


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