Oracle JavaVM Database Takeover

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A new vulnerability discovered in the Oracle Database JavaVM component can result in complete database compromise and shell access to the underlying server.


Oracle released an out-of-band update to its flagship database product for an authenticated vulnerability in the JavaVM component. According to Oracle, the vulnerability “can result in complete compromise of the Oracle Database and shell access to the underlying server.” The same issue was found and patched in the July 2018 critical patch update (CPU) but was not reported as a critical vulnerability for unspecified reasons.

Vulnerability details

According to Oracle, this vulnerability affects “…versions and on Windows. CVE-2018-3110 has a CVSS v3 base score of 9.9, and can result in complete compromise of the Oracle Database and shell access to the underlying server. CVE-2018-3110 also affects Oracle Database version on Windows as well as Oracle Database on Linux and Unix, however patches for those versions and platforms were included in the July 2018 CPU.”

This vulnerability affects Windows Oracle databases via the “Oracle Net” protocol and requires a user with “Create Session” privileges for the JavaVM component. No credit was provided in the advisory and, as is often the case with many Oracle vulnerabilities, exploitation details are sparse.

Note: CVE-2018-3004 from the July CPU appears to be related, since the same component is affected. However, Oracle does not provide a solid link between the vulnerabilities.

Impact assessment

Because database authentication is required to exploit this vulnerability, the impact is lessened. However, the potential for complete database takeover means anyone with an Oracle database in their environment should take remediation steps immediately. In addition, enterprises running versions of Oracle DB which were patched for the July CPU are already protected.

Urgently required actions

If your business uses an Oracle database, we recommend updating immediately based on Oracle’s guidance Vulnerability Management, Container Security, SecurityCenter and Nessus detect this vulnerability. Below is a list of plugins Tenable has released to determine if the Oracle databases in your environment are affected. Tenable will continue to monitor the situation and provide updated protection as required.

Plugin ID





July 2018 Oracle DB CPU



August 2018 Oracle DB check for CVE-2018-3110

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About Tenable
Tenable™, Inc. is the Cyber Exposure company. Over 24,000 organizations of all sizes around the globe rely on Tenable to manage and measure their modern attack surface to accurately understand and reduce cyber risk. As the creator of Nessus®, Tenable built its platform from the ground up to deeply understand assets, networks and vulnerabilities, extending this knowledge and expertise into™ to deliver the world’s first platform to provide live visibility into any asset on any computing platform. Tenable customers include over 50 percent of the Fortune 500, large government agencies and organizations across the private and public sectors. Learn more at
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