According to News.com, two researchers at the SANS Institute have discovered a problem with the security architecture of Oracle’s database software, allowing them to easily obtain the passwords of database users.

The technique Oracle uses to store and encrypt user passwords doesn’t provide sufficient security, said Joshua Wright of the SANS Institute and Carlos Sid of Royal Holloway College, University of London. Wright gave a presentation on the matter Wednesday at the SANS Network Security conference in Los Angeles. … Wright and Cid identified several vulnerabilities, including a weak hashing mechanism and a lack of case preservation–all passwords are converted to uppercase characters before calculating the hash.

In its rivalry to be bigger and better than Microsoft, Oracle has cut some of the same kinds of security corners. According to the article, Oracle has been increasingly scrutinized, and criticized, for a lax security architecture and failure to release security patches in a timely manner.