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The Database Hacker's Handbook: Defending Database Servers by Bill Grindlay, John Heasman, Chris Anley, David Litchfield

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The Oracle Intelligent Agent

This component is peripheral to the actual RDBMS but is integral to its management. The Intelligent Agent performs a number of roles, but probably its most significant function is to gather management and performance data, which can be queried through SNMP or Oracle's own proprietary protocols. The Agent listens on TCP port 1748, 1808, and 1809. As far as SNMP is concerned the port is configurable and may be the default of UDP 161 or often dbsnmp can be found listening for SNMP requests on 1161. In Oracle 10g dbsnmp has gone and in its place is the emagent.

Performance data can be queried remotely without having to present a username or password using the Oracle Enterprise Manager tool — specifically using the “Performance Manager” of the “Diagnostic Pack.” This, needless to say, can provide attackers with a wealth of information about the remote system. For example, they could list all running processes, get memory usage, and so on.

Another of the tools provided by Oracle to manage the Intelligent Agent is the agentctl utility. Using this tool the Agent can be stopped, started, queried for its status, and blackouts started and stopped. A blackout essentially tells the Agent to stop gathering data or stop executing jobs. The agentctl utility is somewhat limited though; it can't really be used to query remote systems. However, it does use sockets on the local system to communicate with the Agent so a couple of strategic break points in a debugging session ...

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