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Learn Oracle password limitations

In this excellent summary of Oracle passwords we see an outstanding overview of Oracle password management:


The most frightening part of this Oracle password summary is the section on brute-force attacks and the value of insisting on long passwords and turning-on password disabling:


Oracle brute force attacks / Decryption


It is not possible to decrypt the hashstring but without salt it is possible to do a brute force attack. There are several Oracle brute force tools available. The tools encrypt the username/password and compare the hashkey.


If they are identical you know the password. From simple SQL based tools (300 pw/second) up to special C programs. The fastest tool calculates 700.000 passwords/second. On a Pentium 4 with 3 GHz it takes


- 17 seconds to calculate all 5-character-combinations

- 7 minutes to calculate all 6-character-combinations

- 3 hours to calculate all 7-character-combinations


The best section in this page is the technique used by Oracle DBA’s to temporarily sign-on as a user while retaining their encrypted password:


How to change an Oracle password temporarily?


In Oracle it is possible to change a password temporarily. This can be useful for DBA which act as a different user.


SQL> select username,password from dba_users where username='SCOTT';USERNAME    PASSWORD--------    ----------------

SCOTT       F894844C34402B67


SQL> alter user scott identified by mypassword;


Now login with the following credentials: scott/tiger

After doing your work you can change the password back by using an undocumented feature called "by values"


SQL> alter user scott identified by values 'F894844C34402B67';


For a more-detailed review of Oracle password management techniques, they have also published a nice presentation on “hardening” the password security on PC’s that access Oracle:


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Note: This Oracle documentation was created as a support and Oracle training reference for use by our DBA performance tuning consulting professionals.  Feel free to ask questions on our Oracle forum.

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