- These vulnerabilities affect: All versions of Sun Java Runtime Environment (JRE) and Java Development Kit (JDK) released before today
- How an attacker exploits them: Typically by luring your users to a malicious web page containing specially crafted Java
- Impact: Various results; in the worst case, an attacker can gain complete control of your computer
- What to do: Install the appropriate JRE (or JDK) update as soon as possible
Java is a programming language (first implemented by Sun Microsystems) used most often to enhance web pages. Oracle’s Sun Java Runtime Environment (JRE) is one of the most popular Java interpreters used today.
Yesterday, Oracle released a security alert warning of 14 vulnerabilities that affect all previous versions of Sun JRE (as well as Sun Java SDK) running on Windows, Solaris and Linux platforms. While the vulnerabilities differ technically, an attacker can exploit many of them in a similar manner – by enticing your users to a malicious web page containing specially crafted Java. In the worst case, if your users visit such a site, an attacker could leverage some of these Java flaws to execute code on those users’ computers, with their privileges. If your users have local administrative or root privileges, the attacker could potentially leverage these flaws to gain complete control of their machines.
Attackers are increasingly targeting Java vulnerabilities in drive-by download attacks — even more so than web browser flaws. For that reason, we consider this Java update as critical. If you have installed Java, which most users have, we recommend you download and install Oracle’s updates as soon as you can.
Sun has released various JRE and SDK updates to correct these issues. If you use Sun JRE in your network, download and deploy the appropriate updates as soon as possible. You can find the updates in the “Patch Availability Table” within Oracle’s alert.
For All WatchGuard Users:
Some of WatchGuard’s Firebox models allow you to prevent your users from downloading Java applets from websites. However, doing so also cripples legitimate websites using Java applets. If you do not want to block Java applets, download the appropriate Sun JRE updates as soon as possible. Furthermore, blocking Java applets may mitigate the risk of some of these vulnerabilities, but not all of them. Oracle’s update is the best solution.
To learn how your Firebox’s HTTP proxy can block Java bytecode, see this help page.
Oracle has issued updates to correct these issues.
What did you think of this alert? Let us know at [email protected].
Need help with the jargon? Try the LiveSecurity Online Glossary.