Researchers Highlight Recent Uptick in Java Security Exploits
Microsoft researcher Holly Stewart pointed out this week on his blog that Java has now passed Adobe Reader as the most common target for malware. Mr. Stewart reports that most Java security exploits seen "in the wild" are targeting issues that have had fixes available for some time. In particular, three long-known issues with the Oracle JVM around Calendar deserialization, long file URLs, and RMI connections represent an outsized portion of attacks.
Security researcher Brian Krebs hypothesizes on his blog that these long-standing holes are seeing a surge of exploitation because "exploit pack" makers have recently started including functionality specifically targeted at these issues. Exploit packs are pre-configured pieces of software sold by hackers to criminal rings. Criminal rings then use the exploit packs to take over computers that visit tainted web sites. The most sophisticated exploit packs have professional-looking management and statistics consoles that tell the buyer how successful they've been gaining access to computers. Mr. Krebs sites proportedly real-life screenshots of these consoles as evidence that Java is a favorite target.
All of the three favorite Java security holes have been fixed since at least March and one was even fixed in April, 2009. But the report suggests that many computers have not been patched with the fixes. A very large percentage of computers are running old versions of Java. Statistics site StatOwl detected more than 10% of users have only Java version 1.4 or 1.5 installed, both of which have not been supported by Oracle for more than a year. Even on computers running version 1.6, more than half are not running a recent patch that addresses the worst vulnerabilities.
This week, Oracle released update 22 to JDK 1.6 that fixed 29 security issues, some of them major. Java developers often assume that their applications are immune to security holes because of the sandbox that the JVM supplies. But under the bytecode, the JVM implementation itself still has direct access to memory and is implemented in an un-sandboxed language like C.
Re: Researchers Highlight Recent Uptick in Java Security Exploits
Or would that totally mess up the scale, making these two types insignificant??
FUD pure and simple
This article seems limited to only two third party products (Java and Flash), neither of which is provided by Microsoft.
If they included more info on C#/CLR/.NET products, Silverlight or MS Office products, then I would give it more credibility.
Why would MS punditry be discussing this? Maybe to get people to update their products? To get third parties to update their products? To persuade people to use their products? You make the call.
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