Feeds

Oracle trowels more plaster over flawed Java browser plugin

Emergency patches issued for two more exploits

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Security for virtualized datacentres

Oracle has issued a rare emergency patch to address two vulnerabilities in the Java plugin for web browsers that the company says are being actively exploited.

"Due to the severity of these vulnerabilities, and the reported exploitation of CVE-2013-1493 'in the wild,' Oracle strongly recommends that customers apply the updates provided by this Security Alert as soon as possible," the company announced.

The exploits were first reported on Friday by security firm FireEye, which urged all six Java users who have not yet disabled the plugin in their browsers to do so immediately.

The Java web plugin has come under repeated attack via a series of vulnerabilities that have been exposed in recent months, beginning with a flaw discovered by FireEye in August 2012.

Oracle said the flaw currently under attack was reported to it on February 1 of this year, which was too late for the database giant to include a fix in its regularly scheduled Critical Patch Update on February 19.

The next Critical Patch Update isn't scheduled to arrive until April 16, but Oracle says the fact that live exploits have been discovered prompted it to issue a fix for this flaw and another, related bug outside of its normal patch schedule.

The last time Oracle did something similar was as recent as February 4, when the company rushed out an update that addressed some 50 flaws.

Oracle said both vulnerabilities addressed by the new patch involved the 2D graphics component of Java SE, and that both could be exploited over a network without the need for a username and password.

The company says that, like other recent Java exploits, these are strictly limited to Java running inside a browser window, and that Java applications running on desktops or servers are not vulnerable.

Oracle's Eric Maurice further noted that a recent Java update has switched the software's security settings to "High," which requires users to expressly authorize any applets that are unsigned or that have been self-signed.

"As a result, unsuspecting users visiting malicious web sites will be notified before an applet is run and will gain the ability to deny the execution of the potentially malicious applet," Maurice said, and advised users to only authorize applets that they know and whose origins they trust.

Or, as mentioned earlier, they could simply get rid of that buggy plugin altogether. No less than the US Department of Homeland Security has recommended that users disable the Java plugin "unless it is absolutely necessary," while some security researchers have speculated that it might take Oracle "another two years" to plug all of the holes that currently exist in the technology.

The latest patches bring Java's version numbers up to Java 6 Update 43 and Java 7 Update 17. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for
It's on by default – didn't you read the small print?
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
NOT OK GOOGLE: Android images can conceal code
It's been fixed, but hordes won't have applied the upgrade
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.