Skip to content

What Can We See in a Normal Data File

You might think that the content of a normal data file should be unrecognized binary text and we cannot really see it except using special tools. Actually, you can see more than you thought.

In this post, I will show you what we can see in a normal data file without using SQL as the interface language.

Actually, I used a very common text editor vi in Linux to inspect a data file named example01.dbf which contains sample schemas and data.

[oracle@test ~]$ cd $ORACLE_BASE/oradata/COMPDB/
[oracle@test COMPDB]$ vi example01.dbf -c "se nu"
vi Editor - Plain Text in Data Files
vi Editor - Plain Text in Data Files

Plain Text in Data Files

I highlighted some clear text that I can recognize on the screenshot. In fact, what we see above from line #10 to #13 is a portion of table HR.LOCATIONS. That is to say, the content of a normal data file can be seen by common means. Anyone has the right to access data files is capable of getting a useful copy of them.

Don't be surprised, it has been a long time to be some degree of plaintext in normal data files. If you concern about it, you should go for Oracle Transparent Data Encryption (TDE).

For your reference, I wrote a tutorial about how to enable Oracle TDE on RAC 19c database, which may offer some help.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *