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Critical Oracle Corp. technology vulnerabilities have been publicly exploited, the company advised in a recent security update that urged users to apply the patches contained in its Security Alert 68.

“Oracle is aware of public exploits (as indicated in the latest version of the alert) for several of the vulnerabilities, and more exploits may be created,” the company said in the e-mail alert. “Security Alert 68 is a critical security update and should be applied as soon as possible.”

The vulnerabilities were addressed in the Redwood Shores, Calif., company’s first monthly patch rollup, which was released on Aug. 31. At the time this story was posted, Oracle had not returned phone calls seeking details of the exploits.

The vulnerabilities in question, however, included the potential for buffer overflow attacks, SQL injection techniques for gaining access to Oracle databases, and the ability for a remote attacker to take advantage of a known, default user account and password.

Other flaws allow databases to be exploited by regular users, who can crash the database or escalate privileges to administrator level. Multiple versions of Oracle’s Database Server, Application Server and Enterprise Manager software are at risk.

Security experts and Oracle watchers are pricking up their ears as they spot message board posts such as this one that request further information on the bugs.

“If this increases or the information becomes more readily available, then some companies are going to have problems,” said a Weblog entry posted by the Oracle security company Ltd. “Exploits are not just used by Internet-based hackers; they can also be used internally by employees.”

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