Oracle to Patch on Monthly ScheduleBy Lisa Vaas | Posted 2004-08-18 Email Print
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Oracle confirms that its switch to a monthly release cycle is delaying its securityy patch updates.Oracle has broken the silence surrounding its failure to release patches for multiple security flaws, confirming to eWEEK.com that the release delay is caused by the fact that the company is heading to a monthly patch rollup model, as many had suspected.
"Oracle [Corp.] is moving to a monthly patch rollup model because we believe a single patch encompassing multiple fixes, on a predictable schedule, better meets the needs of our customers," a spokeswoman for the Redwood Shores, Calif., database giant said in an e-mail exchange.
"While it is challenging to produce all patch sets on a fixed schedule, we are confident that a regular patch schedule is the right thing for our customers."
Not everyone agrees. Kelly Cox, an Oracle DBA who runs a small consultancy in Alexandria, Va., said she'd much rather deal with patches in one fell swoop, rather than having them dribble in as with the current model.
"I'd rather just get it and have them explain what it's for, and then if it applies to me, I can apply it," Cox said. "The only problem is waiting for that [monthly date]."
The Oracle spokeswoman confirmed that the security vulnerabilities in questionwhich were reported by Next Generation Security Software Ltd.'s David Litchfield at last month's BlackHat conference in Las Vegasaffect Oracle Database, Oracle Application Server and Oracle Enterprise Manager. She said the commonly reported number of vulnerabilities, which is 34, is inaccurate, but did not give a correct figure.
However many there are, they have all been fixed in base development, the spokeswoman saidi.e., in the main code base for Oracle products.
But why the delay, given that Oracle was first told about the vulnerabilities between January and February? "Oracle company policy requires that significant security issues be fixed on all supported releases and platforms," she wrote.
"Generally, a security alert will be issued when all patches are ready. This policy ensures that our customers are treated equally, receiving the same level of notification and protection."
All patches are expected to be completed by Aug. 31, at which time an alert will be issued, she said.