Oracle's Ellison downplays threat of NSA database snooping

Wed Jan 29, 2014 11:57pm EST
 
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By Noel Randewich

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Oracle Corp CEO Larry Ellison played down concerns on Wednesday about possible government snooping in his business customers' private data.

At an industry conference in San Francisco, an audience member asked the Oracle co-founder what to tell potential Oracle cloud-computing clients who worry that the National Security Agency could access their information.

"To the best of our knowledge, an Oracle database hasn't been broken into for a couple of decades by anybody," Ellison replied. "It's so secure, there are people that complain," he added.

Oracle, Salesforce.com and other major Silicon Valley companies are increasingly offering Internet-based business services for things like human resources, accounting and sales management, in a trend known as cloud computing.

Entrusting software and data management to cloud services can save companies the expense of maintaining their own servers and other IT infrastructure.

Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden's revelations about U.S. government surveillance have increased companies' concerns about privacy and may cost U.S. technology vendors billions of dollars in lost sales, analysts say.

David Litchfield, an established security expert and frequent speaker at top hacking conferences, disagreed with Ellison's comments and said he regularly sees Oracle systems being compromised.

"Of all of the commercial databases, Oracle is the least secure," he told Reuters by email.   Continued...

 
Oracle Corporation CEO Larry Ellison introduces the company's latest SPARC servers in Redwood Shores, California, March 26, 2013. REUTERS/Stephen Lam