Oracle patches latest zero-day vulnerabilities in Java

The emergency fix repairs two vulnerabilities that can be remotely exploited by a malicious website

Oracle released two out-of-band patches on Sunday for vulnerabilities in its Java programming language, both of which pose a high risk to users browsing the web.

The company's speed in issuing patches may be due to part that exploit code for at least one of the vulnerabilities, CVE-2013-0422, has already been wrapped into two "exploit kits" or packages of attack code inserted into websites that already have other vulnerabilities. The problem became public last week.

"Oracle recommends that this security alert be applied as soon as possible because these issues may be exploited 'in the wild' and some exploits are available in various hacking tools," wrote Oracle's Eric Maurice[cq] on the company's security blog.

Both vulnerabilities expose users to the possibility of being attacked by a malicious "applet," which is a Java application that is downloaded from another server and runs if a user has Java installed. Applets are embedded in web pages and run in the browser.

If a user browsed to a website rigged with an exploit pack, malicious software can be unnoticeably delivered, making it one of the most dangerous kinds of attacks.

The affected software platforms are any system using Oracle's Java 7 (1.7, 1.7.0) through the 10th update, according to an advisory from the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team. That also includes Java Platform Standard Edition 7, Java SE Development Kit and Java SE Runtime Environment.

The vulnerability lies "in the way Java 7 restricts the permissions of Java applets could allow an attacker to execute arbitrary commands on a vulnerable system," US CERT said.

The second patch repairs a vulnerability, CVE-2012-3174, in Java that runs in web browsers, Oracle said. It also can be exploited remotely by tricking users into navigating to a booby-trapped website.

Maurice noted that the security fixes will also switch Java's security setting to "high" by default.

"The high security setting requires users to expressly authorize the execution of applets which are either unsigned or are self-signed," he wrote. "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."

Oracle has more patches coming on Tuesday. The company plans to release 86 patches covering security vulnerabilities in a variety of products, including 18 fixes for its MySQL database. Two of those MySQL vulnerabilities can be remotely exploited without requiring a username or password, according to Oracle.

Send news tips and comments to jeremy_kirk@idg.com. Follow me on Twitter: @jeremy_kirk

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Oraclemalwaredata protectionExploits / vulnerabilitiesDesktop security

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?