Skip to main content

Oracle takes down CSO’s chastising blog post on home-security testing

oracle cso blog security testing oraclestory
Image used with permission by copyright holder
If the last few years have taught us anything about the nature of digital security, it’s that nothing is airtight. Whether you look to Edward Snowden absconding with the NSA’s secretive files, Sony having its servers’ contents dumped all over the floor or indeed, Hacking Team itself being hacked, it’s clear everyone and everything is vulnerable.

Perhaps that’s why a lot of Oracle software users have been trying to find flaws in its software, something that the chief security officer at the company, Mary Davidson, isn’t happy with. So much so, in fact, that she penned a sarcastic, chastising blog post over the weekend that pointed out not only were people breaking their license agreement by reverse engineering Oracle programs, but that they were wasting their time too.

“I’ve been writing a lot of letters to customers that start with ‘hi, howzit, aloha,’ but end with ‘please comply with your license agreement and stop reverse engineering our code, already,'” she said in the now deleted post (via Ars Technica).

She went on to poke fun at those using automated tools to scan Oracle software for flaws, suggesting that not only that those tools’ reports do not — as she is concerned — quantify an actual potential exploit, but that they are roping someone else into breaking their license agreement too.

“Oh, and we require customers/consultants to destroy the results of such reverse engineering and confirm they have done so,” she said.

Her reasoning for this attack on customers, who she seems to believe are either misguided or want to catch Oracle out, is that she doesn’t want to send out more sternly worded letters telling people to stop. She also reiterated that third-party tools and analyzers don’t do a good job of looking at Oracle code anyway.

“I do not need you to analyze the code since we already do that.”

Do you think those sending in reports of Oracle bugs are doing it because they want the praise for finding a flaw, as Davison seems to think, or does this suggest a growing climate of more security concious software users?

Editors' Recommendations

Jon Martindale
Jon Martindale is the Evergreen Coordinator for Computing, overseeing a team of writers addressing all the latest how to…
9 best desktop computers of 2023: tested and reviewed
A top-down view of the Mac Mini.

There are several great options if you're searching for the best desktop computer, but Dell's XPS Desktop (8960) still takes the crown in 2023. It's highly flexible, decently priced, and comes with super powerful hardware. There are desktop PCs to pick from, though.

We've reviewed hundreds of desktop PCs from brands like Dell, Apple, Lenovo, and HP, but only a few truly stand out. These are the computers to look for when making your next upgrade. For our picks, we tried to balance price, performance, build quality, and our experience actually using the desktop. Make sure to read our explainer about how we review desktops to get an inside look at our evaluation process.

Read more
This new GPU connector may finally kill the melting 12VHPWR
A hand holding the RTX 4090 GPU.

The 12VHPWR graphics card connector has made a name for itself for all the wrong reasons, with the component frequently melting and causing the death of many a GPU. Now, graphics card manufacturers are apparently testing a replacement that could finally put an end to the sorry saga.

The new version, dubbed 12V-2x6, can reportedly deliver up to 660W of power to a graphics card -- 10% more than the 12VHPWR. Despite that, testing has apparently shown it to be much safer than its predecessor.

Read more
Best MacBook deals: Apple laptops starting at $159
A MacBook Pro M2 sits on a wooden table with a nice bokeh background.

If you're keen to find all the best Apple deals with an eye on awesome MacBook discounts, we're here to help. We've picked out some of the best MacBook deals going on right now and that includes some devices that cost just $159. That's for an older refurbished model but we also have the latest MacBook Pros and Airs listed below too. Basically, there's something for everyone here. Keep reading while we take you through the highlights when it comes to MacBook deals. Shopping on a shoestring budget? Perhaps check out our list of the best refurbished MacBook deals instead.
MacBook Air 11.6-inch (2015) -- from $159

Once the latest MacBook Air but now eight years old and still competent, the MacBook Air 11.6-inch (2015) is a great starting point for anyone new to macOS or who just needs something financially on par with a Chromebook. It's a refurbished model but it comes with a one-year warranty so there's peace of mind here. It won't run the latest macOS unfortunately, but its Intel Core i5 processor, 4GB of memory and 128GB of SSD storage helps you perform the basics. It still has all the style of a MacBook so we're thinking this could be a good entry point as your child's first MacBook or if you want a project.

Read more