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U.S. warns on Java software as security concerns escalate

 
 
emf
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      01-12-2013
U.S. warns on Java software as security concerns escalate

By Jim Finkle | Reuters – 14 hrs ago

(Reuters) - The U.S. Department of Homeland Security urged computer
users to disable Oracle Corp's Java software, amplifying security
experts' prior warnings to hundreds of millions of consumers and
businesses that use it to surf the Web.

Hackers have figured out how to exploit Java to install malicious
software enabling them to commit crimes ranging from identity theft to
making an infected computer part of an ad-hoc network of computers that
can be used to attack websites.

"We are currently unaware of a practical solution to this problem," the
Department of Homeland Security's Computer Emergency Readiness Team said
in a posting on its website late on Thursday.

"This and previous Java vulnerabilities have been widely targeted by
attackers, and new Java vulnerabilities are likely to be discovered,"
the agency said. "To defend against this and future Java
vulnerabilities, disable Java in Web browsers."

Oracle declined on Friday to comment on the warning.

Java is a computer language that enables programmers to write software
utilizing just one set of code that will run on virtually any type of
computer, including ones that use Microsoft Corp's Windows, Apple Inc's
OS X and Linux, an operating system widely employed by corporations.

Computer users access Java programs through modules, or plug-ins, that
run Java software on top of browsers such as Internet Explorer and Firefox.

The U.S. government's warning on Java came after security experts warned
on Thursday of the newly discovered flaw.

It is relatively rare for government agencies to advise computer users
to completely disable software due to a security bug, particularly in
the case of widely used programs such as Java. They typically recommend
taking steps to mitigate the risk of attack while manufacturers prepare
an update, or hold off on publicizing the problem until an update is
prepared.

In September, the German government advised the public to temporarily
stop using Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser to give it time to
patch a security vulnerability that opened it to attacks.

Java is so widely used that the software has become a prime target for
hackers. Last year Oracle's Java surpassed Adobe Systems Inc's Reader
software as the most frequently attacked piece of software, according to
security software maker Kaspersky Lab.

Java was responsible for 50 percent of all cyber attacks last year in
which hackers broke into computers by exploiting software bugs,
according Kaspersky. That was followed by Adobe Reader, which was
involved in 28 percent of all incidents. Microsoft Windows and Internet
Explorer were involved in about 3 percent of incidents, according to the
survey.

The Department of Homeland Security said attackers could trick targets
into visiting malicious websites that would infect their PCs with
software capable of exploiting the bug in Java.

It said an attacker could also infect a legitimate website by uploading
malicious software that would infect machines of computer users who
trust that site because they have previously visited it without
experiencing any problems.

They said developers of several popular tools, known as exploit kits,
which criminal hackers use to attack PCs, have added software that
allows hackers to exploit the newly discovered bug in Java to attack
computers.

Security experts have been scrutinizing the safety of Java since a
similar security scare in August, which prompted some of them to advise
using the software only on an as-needed basis.

At the time they advised businesses to allow their workers to use Java
browser plug-ins only when prompted for permission by trusted programs
such as GoToMeeting, a Web-based collaboration tool from Citrix Systems Inc.

Java suffered another setback in October when Apple began removing old
versions of the software from Internet browsers of Mac computers when
its customers installed new versions of its OS X operating system. Apple
did not provide a reason for the change and both companies declined to
comment at the time.

Adam Gowdiak, a researcher with Polish security firm Security
Explorations, told Reuters he believes that Oracle fails to properly
test its software fixes for security flaws. "It's definitely safer for
users to stay away from Java 'til Oracle starts taking security
seriously," he said.

http://news.yahoo.com/government-war...6--sector.html
 
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Stefan Ram
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      01-12-2013
emf <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:
>In September, the German government advised the public to temporarily
>stop using Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser to give it time to
>patch a security vulnerability that opened it to attacks.


Recent versions of IE do not seem to enable the user to
disable the Java plug-in. Although the software settings
might suggest the plug-in to be disabled, it is not, as one
can see when one visits a page with an applet. So, this only
leaves the possibility to uninstall Java completely (given
that on Windows it is hard to totally avoid using the IE).

 
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Arne Vajhøj
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      01-12-2013
On 1/12/2013 7:48 AM, emf wrote:
> U.S. warns on Java software as security concerns escalate
>
> By Jim Finkle | Reuters – 14 hrs ago
>
> (Reuters) - The U.S. Department of Homeland Security urged computer
> users to disable Oracle Corp's Java software, amplifying security
> experts' prior warnings to hundreds of millions of consumers and
> businesses that use it to surf the Web.
>
> Hackers have figured out how to exploit Java to install malicious
> software enabling them to commit crimes ranging from identity theft to
> making an infected computer part of an ad-hoc network of computers that
> can be used to attack websites.
>
> "We are currently unaware of a practical solution to this problem," the
> Department of Homeland Security's Computer Emergency Readiness Team said
> in a posting on its website late on Thursday.
>
> "This and previous Java vulnerabilities have been widely targeted by
> attackers, and new Java vulnerabilities are likely to be discovered,"
> the agency said. "To defend against this and future Java
> vulnerabilities, disable Java in Web browsers."
>
> Oracle declined on Friday to comment on the warning.
>
> Java is a computer language that enables programmers to write software
> utilizing just one set of code that will run on virtually any type of
> computer, including ones that use Microsoft Corp's Windows, Apple Inc's
> OS X and Linux, an operating system widely employed by corporations.
>
> Computer users access Java programs through modules, or plug-ins, that
> run Java software on top of browsers such as Internet Explorer and Firefox.
>
> The U.S. government's warning on Java came after security experts warned
> on Thursday of the newly discovered flaw.
>
> It is relatively rare for government agencies to advise computer users
> to completely disable software due to a security bug, particularly in
> the case of widely used programs such as Java. They typically recommend
> taking steps to mitigate the risk of attack while manufacturers prepare
> an update, or hold off on publicizing the problem until an update is
> prepared.
>
> In September, the German government advised the public to temporarily
> stop using Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser to give it time to
> patch a security vulnerability that opened it to attacks.
>
> Java is so widely used that the software has become a prime target for
> hackers. Last year Oracle's Java surpassed Adobe Systems Inc's Reader
> software as the most frequently attacked piece of software, according to
> security software maker Kaspersky Lab.
>
> Java was responsible for 50 percent of all cyber attacks last year in
> which hackers broke into computers by exploiting software bugs,
> according Kaspersky. That was followed by Adobe Reader, which was
> involved in 28 percent of all incidents. Microsoft Windows and Internet
> Explorer were involved in about 3 percent of incidents, according to the
> survey.
>
> The Department of Homeland Security said attackers could trick targets
> into visiting malicious websites that would infect their PCs with
> software capable of exploiting the bug in Java.
>
> It said an attacker could also infect a legitimate website by uploading
> malicious software that would infect machines of computer users who
> trust that site because they have previously visited it without
> experiencing any problems.
>
> They said developers of several popular tools, known as exploit kits,
> which criminal hackers use to attack PCs, have added software that
> allows hackers to exploit the newly discovered bug in Java to attack
> computers.
>
> Security experts have been scrutinizing the safety of Java since a
> similar security scare in August, which prompted some of them to advise
> using the software only on an as-needed basis.
>
> At the time they advised businesses to allow their workers to use Java
> browser plug-ins only when prompted for permission by trusted programs
> such as GoToMeeting, a Web-based collaboration tool from Citrix Systems
> Inc.
>
> Java suffered another setback in October when Apple began removing old
> versions of the software from Internet browsers of Mac computers when
> its customers installed new versions of its OS X operating system. Apple
> did not provide a reason for the change and both companies declined to
> comment at the time.
>
> Adam Gowdiak, a researcher with Polish security firm Security
> Explorations, told Reuters he believes that Oracle fails to properly
> test its software fixes for security flaws. "It's definitely safer for
> users to stay away from Java 'til Oracle starts taking security
> seriously," he said.
>
> http://news.yahoo.com/government-war...6--sector.html


1) This related to applets only, so 99.9% (or something in that
magnitude) of Java usage is not affected.

2) Avoiding/uninstalling Java therefore seems completely
unwarranted. It may make sense to disable Java in your
browser if you do not need it.

3) All types of "active" web content has had problems. Java applets,
Adobe Flash, MS SilverLight, JavaScript, Adobe Acrobat Reader etc..
I will predict that there will also be found new problems in the
future for each of these - that include Java applets.

4) Disabling all of these permanently will reduce the web experience
to an almost unusable state. But people need to do some things:
surf the web on a non prived account, use anti-malware software,
keep all software uptodate with patches, disable software not used
etc..

5) The last year has not been good for Java security wise. Maybe Oracle
should focus a bit on security for the next year.

Arne


 
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Stefan Ram
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      01-12-2013
=?UTF-8?B?QXJuZSBWYWpow7hq?= <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:
>2) Avoiding/uninstalling Java therefore seems completely
> unwarranted. It may make sense to disable Java in your
> browser if you do not need it.


I have explained this in my preceding post.

 
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RVic
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      01-12-2013

Is it only the browser plugin

Is it only a specific version?

Is it only Oracle or other Javas as well?

Thank you
 
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Arne Vajhj
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      01-12-2013
On 1/12/2013 11:00 AM, RVic wrote:
> Is it only the browser plugin


It only relates to when Java is restricted by a security
manager (sandboxed). For practically purposes that means browser.

> Is it only a specific version?


Some sources say that it is only Java 7 and not Java 6.

But according to:

http://web.nvd.nist.gov/view/vuln/de...=CVE-2013-0422

then it is all versions.

> Is it only Oracle or other Javas as well?


It is an implementation bug, so other Java implementation do not
need to be vulnerable.

But many other Java implementations share code with Oracle
either via open source OpenJDK or commercial licenses.

Unless you have a statement from the vendor that they
do not have the bug, then I would assume it does.

I have seen sources claim that IcedTea is not vulnerable,
but you should not believe everything read on the
internet!



Arne


 
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Roedy Green
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      01-12-2013
On Sat, 12 Jan 2013 07:48:51 -0500, emf <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote,
quoted or indirectly quoted someone who said :

>U.S. warns on Java software as security concerns escalate


see http://mindprod.com/jgloss\0dayexploit.html
--
Roedy Green Canadian Mind Products http://mindprod.com
Students who hire or con others to do their homework are as foolish
as couch potatoes who hire others to go to the gym for them.
 
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Arne Vajhj
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      01-12-2013
On 1/12/2013 1:38 PM, Roedy Green wrote:
> On Sat, 12 Jan 2013 07:48:51 -0500, emf <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote,
> quoted or indirectly quoted someone who said :
>
>> U.S. warns on Java software as security concerns escalate

>
> see http://mindprod.com/jgloss\0dayexploit.html


\ or / that is the question.



Arne


 
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Hiram Hunt
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      01-13-2013
"emf" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:kcrlqe$noj$(E-Mail Removed)...
> U.S. warns on Java software as security concerns escalate
> ...


A check at Oracle shows that 7u11 is here. I have not tried it.
They say:
>
> Java SE 7u11
>
> This release includes important security fixes. Oracle strongly recommends
> that all Java SE 7 users
> upgrade to this release.


-- Hiram Hunt ((E-Mail Removed))


 
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Rajiv Gupta
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      01-15-2013
On 2013-01-12 23:48:51 +1100, emf said:

Re: Neo COBOL.

Browser manufacturers should stop supporting Java. Applets are a dead
technology which hardly anybody uses (except for criminals).

Java is irrelevant to the vast majority of computer users. Its
irrelevance should be cemented by deleting support for it.

The sooner universities stop teaching Java the better the world will be.



 
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