Re: OS authentication question

From: Mark D Powell <>
Date: Wed, 16 Jan 2008 13:55:23 -0800 (PST)
Message-ID: <>

On Jan 16, 4:39 pm, "" <> wrote:
> 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- Hide quoted text -
> - Show quoted text -

David raise several valid points. Anyone with access to your network who has the ability to create users on their desktop machine and knows a valid Oracle account can create an OS account on their machine with the same name and then connect as that user. On the other hand if all user connections must come from the same machine as the database runs on then this is not an issue. It is a rare site that can restrict all the user access to being on the database server. In fact in our shop we do not allow any users or developers access to the physical database server machine. All access is from remote application servers.

HTH -- Mark D Powell -- Received on Wed Jan 16 2008 - 15:55:23 CST

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