Oct 31 2017

Unified Auditing in Oracle 12c

Category: Administration,Database SecurityFatih Acar @ 10:30

Unified Auditing is new audit feature came with Oracle 12c version. You have to do enable Unified Auditing to use after install database. Unified Auditing come as disabled by default.

In previous releases of Oracle Database, there were separate audit trails for individual components:

  • SYS.AUD$ for the database audit trail,
  • SYS.FGA_LOG$ for fine-grained auditing,
  • DVSYS.AUDIT_TRAIL$ for Oracle Database Vault, Oracle Label Security, and so on.

In 12c, these audit trails are all unified into one, viewable from the UNIFIED_AUDIT_TRAIL data dictionary view for single-instance installations or Oracle Database Real Application Clusters environments.

Auditable Components With Unified Auditing

  • Audit Any Role
  • Application Context Values
  • Oracle Database Real Application Security Events
  • Oracle Recovery Manager Events
  • Oracle Database Vault Events
  • Oracle Label Security Events
  • Oracle Data Mining Events
  • Oracle Data Pump Events
  • Oracle SQL*Loader Direct Load Path Events
  • Operating System Audit Records into the Unified Audit Trail

The unified audit trail, which resides in a read-only table in the AUDSYS schema in the SYSAUX tablespace, makes this information available in a uniform format in the UNIFIED_AUDIT_TRAIL data dictionary view, and is available in both single-instance and Oracle Database Real Application Clusters environments. In addition to the user SYS, users who have been granted the AUDIT_ADMIN and AUDIT_VIEWER roles can query these views. If your users only need to query the views but not create audit policies, then grant them the AUDIT_VIEWER role.

When the database is writeable, audit records are written to the unified audit trail. If the database is not writable, then audit records are written to new format operating system files in the $ORACLE_BASE/audit/$ORACLE_SID directory.

You can use mixed mode auditing enables both traditional (that is, the audit facility from releases earlier than Release 12c) and the new audit facilities (unified auditing). In mixed mode, you can use the new unified audit facility alongside the traditional auditing facility. In pure unified auditing, you only use the unified audit facility.

As in previous releases, the traditional audit facility is driven by the AUDIT_TRAIL initialization parameter. Only for mixed mode auditing, you should set this parameter to the appropriate traditional audit trail. This traditional audit trail will then be populated with audit records, along with the unified audit trail. When you upgrade your database to the current release, traditional auditing is preserved, and the new audit records are written to the traditional audit trail.

Enable Unified Auditing

You can check current status with below query.


SQL> SELECT VALUE FROM V$OPTION WHERE PARAMETER='Unified Auditing';

If VALUE is TRUE, Unified Auditing is enabled.

You have to shutdown all running database process (database,listener) to activate Unified Auditing before run script. If you use Oracle RAC, you have to run script on all of nodes.


SQL> shutdown immediate;
SQL> exit;

[oracle@testdb ~]$ lsnrctl stop LISTENER

[oracle@testdb ~]$ cd $ORACLE_HOME/rdbms/lib/
[oracle@testdb lib]$ make -f ins_rdbms.mk uniaud_on ioracle ORACLE_HOME=$ORACLE_HOME  

SQL> startup;
SQL> SELECT VALUE FROM V$OPTION WHERE PARAMETER='Unified Auditing'; 

The VALUE has to be TRUE.

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Tags: Database Administration, Database Security, Oracle 12c, Oracle 12c Security