Feeds

Java surpasses Adobe kit as most attacked software

Researcher sees 'unprecedented wave of Java exploitation'

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

Oracle's Java framework has surpassed Adobe applications as the most attacked software package, according to a Microsoft researcher who warned she was seeing “an unprecedented wave of Java exploitation.”

The spike began in the third-quarter of last year and has climbed steadily since, according to data reported on Monday by Holly Stewart, a member of the Microsoft Malware Protection Center. By the beginning of this year, the number of Java exploits “had well surpassed the total number of Adobe-related exploits we monitored,” she said.

The spike is mostly driven by attacks on three separate vulnerabilities that Oracle patched long ago. As a result attacks on Java have “gone from hundreds of thousands per quarter to millions,” Stewart blogged.

As Microsoft has released new versions of its software that are harder to exploit, attackers looking for ways to install malware have turned their attention to other ubiquitous PC titles. With a massive share of Windows machines, Adobe Reader emerged earlier this year as the world's most exploited app, according to antivirus provider F-Secure. Adobe's Flash Player, also because of its broad base of users, has long been a favorite as well.

Java, which Oracle inherited from Sun Microsystems, has remained vulnerable, too, and exploits are now coming into the mainstream. One of the things driving the trend, according to security reporter Brian Krebs, are updates that add Java attacks to Eleonore, Crimepack and other exploit kits that malware purveyors use to streamline the installation of malware on victim machines.

“Java is ubiquitous, and, as was once true with browsers and document readers like Adobe, people don't think to update it,” Stewart wrote. “On top of that, Java is a technology that runs in the background to make more visible components work.”

The software has never lived up to many of the promises that Sun made about it. Chances are it can be uninstalled from most desktop machines and the user won't even notice. ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
NEW, SINISTER web tracking tech fingerprints your computer by making it draw
Have you been on YouPorn lately, perhaps? White House website?
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Black Hat anti-Tor talk smashed by lawyers' wrecking ball
Unmasking hidden users is too hot for Carnegie-Mellon
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
NUDE SNAPS AGENCY: NSA bods love 'showing off your saucy selfies'
Swapping other people's sexts is a fringe benefit, says Snowden
Own a Cisco modem or wireless gateway? It might be owned by someone else, too
Remote code exec in HTTP server hands kit to bad guys
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.