Re: audit suggestion

  • From: Mladen Gogala <mgogala@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: KATHERINE_KAYLOR@xxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 24 Jan 2005 13:16:56 -0500

KATHERINE_KAYLOR@xxxxxxxxxx wrote:

>We just completed an external audit and one of the findings from the 
>auditors is that DBAs should not have cron rights in Unix. 

Let me start  with moderate and reserved statement that your auditor is 
an idiot. Actually he or she
is an idiot to the fifth degree, but I am not allowed to say that.

> The finding 
>basically stated that a DBA could schedule something to run malicious code 
>from cron and therefore is a security threat. 
Of  course, being able to connect as sysdba does not enable him to do 
anything dangerous to anything other then to the company data. He 
neglected to mention the danger coming from the auditors having IQ 
smaller then the shoe size. Also, there is a package that "it" has 
apparently never heard of: DBMS_JOB which allows the DBA to
do pretty much the same thing without ever running cron.

> Frankly, I don't see how 
>that's much different from just running the script interactively.  Unless 
>the DBA is kicked off the Unix server period.....
This was a Microsoft sales person in disguise. His recommendation is 
that you don't need a DBA.
Oracle database allegedly has sufficient artificial intelligence to 
offset the human stupidity. That, I am
afraid, is not the case.

>I'm curious if other sites have restricted DBA's access to such a point 
>that they no longer are allowed to develop and promote shell scripts for 
>databases.  This is supposed to be a 'segregation' of duties, but it seems 
>to me that if you are going to run a script that is in the 'DBA' group 
>then what's really happened is that access is now opened up to the UNIX 
>administrators (considering they are a separate job).

Technical auditors are supposed to be qualified persons. Unfortunately, 
management frequently hires "well known" auditing companies like DLJ 
which have so many audits that they cannot event begin to cover them 
with even moderately technically competent auditors, so they cover some 
of the "audited" companies with incompetent cheap morons. Management 
should insist that the DBA auditing the company have OCP and five years 
of provable experience in the field. So many of those "auditors" are 
blithering idiots who all behave in the same way: they keep quiet and 
mysterious, first "documenting" everything and then making 
I was once able to challenge an auditor that opened his mouth and let me 
know that he has 6 months of experience
with Oracle RDBMS and yet he was doing audits. Your auditor was 
obviously a bird of the feather. I would advise against following his 
recommendations. Your company management should create a ruckus at the 
auditing company HQ and require either a technically competent auditor 
or their money back. SoX and HIPAA auditing has become a "grab the money 
and run" type affair.
If you want to hear what I really feel, contact me privately, but this 
should suffice.

Mladen Gogala
Oracle DBA
Ext. 121


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