Re: OS authentication question

From: <>
Date: Wed, 16 Jan 2008 13:39:49 -0800 (PST)
Message-ID: <>

On Jan 16, 3:23 pm, GS <> wrote:
> Database is running on W2K server, clients are windows xp pro
> running 9i client.
> We've not used OS authentication here for any databases yet, so this is
> relatively new to me. To make our SOX compliance easier we are thinking
> about going to OS authentication for a lot of our app's that run on
> Oracle databases, since our network passwords are now very stringent and
> the beancounters are saying the database passwords need to meet the same
> criteria, but if the users connect with the complex OS password then we
> are ok.
> So, on a test database I created a login for myself with the following:
> create user "ops$my_domain\my_network_username" identified externally;
> grant connect, create session et. to the new user (me)
> I enter "sqlplus /nolog" then "connect / @testdb" and I am in with no
> password, as expected. So far so good, so I take an existing user in the
> test database, and from EOM I highlight this user and choose create like
> so he will have the correct roles etc., then add
> "ops$my_domain\his_domain_username" in the database. We try from his
> machine to connect via sqlplus the same way I did, and I am getting
> invalid username/password errors. I double checked the new username I
> created for him and all looks fine.
> The servers sqlnet.ora file has SQLNET.AUTHENTICATION_SERVICES= (NTS), I
> thought I might need that on the client side too but my machine is
> SQLNET.AUTHENTICATION_SERVICES= (NONE) and I can connect ok. I am on my
> way back over to check his sqlnet.ora file, but is there something else
> I am missing here?
> thanks in advance

Yes, the fact that using O/S authentication in your database opens security holes as you also need to set remote_os_authent to TRUE. This, as discussed in another thread on this same topic, allows anyone with access (legal or illegal) to your internet/intranet the ability to connect to the database, and thus do damage. I'm surprised the SOX auditors are even entertaining this thought.

Your only real choice in this situation is to enforce a password complexity check in the database and require all database users to abide by it. O/S authentication isn't the answer in this case. None of the SOX-compliant databases I manage allows for O/S authenticated accounts, nor do the auditors here support such a configuration.

I would seriously re-think your position on this.

David Fitzjarrell Received on Wed Jan 16 2008 - 15:39:49 CST

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