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Oracle Security by Marlene Theriault, William Heney

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Protecting a Web Site

Although Internet technology is fairly old, by computer standards, the options for securing a web site and protecting an Oracle database are relatively young and immature. There are several possible approaches you can implement to help protect your database, including:

  • Cookies — with the user’s IP address encrypted in a form only your web site can decrypt

  • Firewalls — both packet-filtering and application-level proxies

  • A security server that issues digitally signed certificates of authority

  • Access control at the operating system level

  • Blind faith that there are so many packets “floating around” that yours won’t be intercepted or targeted

All these methods (except the last one) are valid approaches for implementing web security. Let’s examine each one more closely.

Cookies

As mentioned in the terminology section earlier in this chapter, cookies are usually small ASCII text files. Originally, cookies were used by the Netscape browser to help track a user’s actions through several HTTP requests. The process of keeping track of a user’s movements from one HTTP page to another is known as instantiation . The cookie keeps track of the user’s movements forward. Then, when a user wants to return to a previous page, the cookie can be used to help guide the browser backwards through previous pages and URLs of interest.

Capturing an IP address

Another potential use for cookies would be to have your web site capture and encrypt the user’s Internet Protocol (IP) address the ...

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