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Solution Beacon Security Best Practice #6 - Set Application User Signon Profile Values

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Your organization likely has IT standards and policies relating to authentication.  For instance, your network login may require a password value longer than 5 characters, or your network account may be locked after three failed login attempts.  The E-Business suite finally offers some of these same controls (although not until the later versions of 11i and Release 12).  These controls are established within the E-Business Suite by setting system profile values.

The following E-Business Suite profile options address the basic User Authentication level in an Applications Security model.




Signon Password Failure Limit


3 (attempts)

Signon Password Hard to Guess



Signon Password Length


8 (characters)

Signon Password No Reuse


180 (days)

Signon Password Custom


See Note Below

Signon Password Case

None *1


                                                             *1 In Release 12, the default value for this profile is ‘Sensitive’

  • Signon Password Failure Limit - By default, there is no account lockout after a failed number of login attempts.  This is just asking to be hacked!  I recommend setting a failure limit using the Signon Password Failure Limit profile option.  Prior to release 11.5.10, you needed to implement an alert (periodic), custom workflow or report to notify security administrators; now the system ‘locks’ the account.  In addition, I recommend notifying security administrators of a lockout by monitoring FND_UNSUCCESSFUL_LOGINS and ICX.ICX_FAILURES tables.  Both the FND_UNSUCCESSFUL_LOGINS and ICX.ICX_FAILURES tables capture failed login attempts from the Personal Home Page (Self Service/Web Interface), but failed Forms sessions are only logged to FND_UNSUCCESSFUL_LOGINS.   
  • Signon Password Hard to Guess - The Signon Password Hard to Guess profile option sets internal rules for verifying passwords to ensure that they will be "hard to guess."  Oracle defines a password as hard-to-guess if it follows these rules:
    • The password contains at least one letter and at least one number
    • The password does not contain repeating characters.
    • The password does not contain the username.
  • Signon Password Length - Signon Password Length sets the minimum length of an Oracle Applications password value.  The default length is 5 and I recommended 8.
  • Signon Password No Reuse - This profile option is set to the number of days that must pass before a user is allowed to reuse a password.
  • Signon Password Custom - This profile option is used if you want to define your own password scheme (validated by custom Java code) in a custom Java class.  This would be used if you have a more advanced and complex password value requirement that is not supported by the site profiles described in this paper.  For example, your password policy could state that the password value must have a numeric value, an uppercase value, and a special character.  If this were the case, you would not be able to enforce that password policy with the existing Oracle E-Business Suite profiles, so you would need to create a custom password java class and set the profile value to that class name for Signon Password Custom.
  • Signon Password Case - This profile option is used to force case sensitivity in user passwords.  By default in Release 11i, this profile is not populated and the system action defaults to being ‘Insensitive’.  This option allows for tighter security, as well as for better integration with Oracle Internet Directory, because it also allows case sensitive passwords.  The Define Users form and the Signon form now accept case-sensitive passwords.  I recommend setting the Signon Password Case profile value to “Sensitive” at the site level.  Setting this profile on an existing system has no affect on existing passwords already stored in the system.  The case sensitivity will start to take affect the next time a password value is changed – it is then that the rule is applied.

    Note that this profile option was introduced with 11i.ATG_PF_H Rollup 4.   There was an earlier attempt in 11i.ATG_PF_H Rollup 3 to implement a similar profile option, ‘Set Password Case’ with three possible values, ‘Insensitive’, Sensitive’, and ‘Mixed’.  MetaLink Note 337274.1, “About Oracle Applications Technology 11i.ATG_PF_H Rollup 3 describes this deprecated profile.  You will note that the profile option name for this profile did not match the naming convention used by the other password profiles.  It appears that Oracle has corrected this with MetaLink Note 365228.1, “About Oracle Applications 11i.ATG_PF.H Rollup 4 (RUP 4)” says that “Mixed” is no longer supported.  Users can see, but not update this profile option.
    • Insensitive - Passwords are treated as case insensitive. In this mode, the passwords are stored and compared in uppercase, similar to that in earlier releases.  During user authentication password validation, the entered password and the decrypted password are compared in uppercase.  If the passwords do not match, an error is displayed.
    • Sensitive - Passwords are stored and compared as they are, with the password case preserved.  During validation, the entered password must match the decrypted version otherwise an error message is displayed. With Release 12, this option is the default behavior. All newly created or changed passwords are treated as case sensitive.

Note: Users who have not changed their passwords since the installation of Release 12 are not affected until they do change their passwords.

Note that by default, Oracle generally does not set these parameters for you.  You will need to set up or change the default values to explicitly configure/enable the profile parameters.


 Release 12 Default Signon System Profile Values


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