Risk
9/26/2012
10:39 AM
50%
50%

Java Vulnerability Affects 1 Billion Plug-ins

Another week, another Java vulnerability--only this one affects all versions of Java released in the past eight years.

Anyone still using a Java plug-in in their Web browser, beware: Another major, new--and as yet unpatched--vulnerability has been spotted in Java.

Unfortunately, unlike a number of the other, recently spotted Java bugs, the latest security issue affects not just the current, version 7 of Java, but also versions 5 and 6. In other words, every version of Java released for the past eight years, collectively used by approximately one billion people, is vulnerable to the exploit.

Security researcher Adam Gowdiak of Security Explorations announced the bug discovery Tuesday in a post to the Full Disclosure mailing list. "The impact of this issue is critical--we were able to successfully exploit it and achieve a complete Java security sandbox bypass in the environment of Java SE 5, 6, and 7." In other words, an attacker could use the exploit to run arbitrary code on, and remotely compromise, a vulnerable system.

Gowdiak said his firm successfully demonstrated the vulnerability on Java SE 5 Update 22, Java SE 6 Update 35, and Java SE 7 Update 7, using a fully patched 32-bit Windows 7 system, as well as five different Web browsers: Firefox 15.0.1, Google Chrome 21.0.1180.89, Internet Explorer 9.0.8112.16421 (update 9.0.10), Opera 12.02 (build 1578), and Safari 5.1.7 (7534.57.2).

"Do you have Java [plug-in] in your browser? You're vulnerable. Unless you run J2SE 1.x from the 1990s. And you shouldn't," tweeted Mikko Hypponen, chief research officer at F-Secure.

[ Learn more about Oracle software vulnerabilities. See Oracle Database Passwords Easily Cracked. ]

Given the critical nature of the flaw, is it safe to use Java? "Taking into account that now the issue affects Java SE 5, 6, and 7, we advise users of Java SE software to disable Java plug-ins in their Web browsers and wait for the patches from Oracle," said Gowdiak via email.

When might the relevant vulnerability be patched by Oracle? The company's next regularly scheduled, quarterly patch release is due October 16, 2012, meaning there might not be enough lead time for the company to properly code and test a fix. On the upside, however, Gowdiak said he's seen no evidence that the bug, which his company reported privately to Oracle--has been spotted by anyone else, or that it's being used in in-the-wild attacks.

If Gowdiak's name sounds familiar, it's because by the end of August, his firm had discovered 30 security issues involving Java, including a recently disclosed Java 7 security sandbox bypass that Oracle has yet to patch. But the bugs spotted earlier this year could only be used to bypass the Java 7 sandbox.

According to the Security Explorations tracking page for vendors that have been notified of vulnerabilities, Oracle Tuesday confirmed the new vulnerability, and said "the issue will be addressed in a future Java SE Critical Patch Update." As of Monday, meanwhile, Oracle told Security Explorations that 18 outstanding bugs identified by the company had been fixed "in the main codeline," and are queued up for release in a forthcoming critical patch update. Two other Java bugs, meanwhile, are still under investigation.

Security Explorations earlier this month also notified IBM of 17 Java-related security issues in its products, 10 of which "successfully demonstrate a complete IBM J9 Java VM security sandbox bypass," said Gowdiak. The security issues are present in the IBM software development kit (SDK), which is a Java Standard Edition implementation from IBM that's available for a number of platforms, including AIX, Linux, z/OS, as well as for the Eclipse and WebSphere platforms.

Security Explorations said it verified the IBM SDK Java Technology Edition vulnerabilities in version 7.0 SR1 as well as version 6.0 SR11, both for Linux 32-bit x86 systems. It said that the Java vulnerabilities it found in the IBM SDK are unique to IBM's software, and don't duplicate flaws reported to Oracle. IBM Thursday told Security Explorations that "relevant development teams are working to address the weaknesses." IBM hopes to release the "fixed SDK software" in November 2012.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading Tech Digest, Dec. 19, 2014
Software-defined networking can be a net plus for security. The key: Work with the network team to implement gradually, test as you go, and take the opportunity to overhaul your security strategy.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-2208
Published: 2014-12-28
CRLF injection vulnerability in the LightProcess protocol implementation in hphp/util/light-process.cpp in Facebook HipHop Virtual Machine (HHVM) before 2.4.2 allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary commands by entering a \n (newline) character before the end of a string.

CVE-2014-2209
Published: 2014-12-28
Facebook HipHop Virtual Machine (HHVM) before 3.1.0 does not drop supplemental group memberships within hphp/util/capability.cpp and hphp/util/light-process.cpp, which allows remote attackers to bypass intended access restrictions by leveraging group permissions for a file or directory.

CVE-2014-5386
Published: 2014-12-28
The mcrypt_create_iv function in hphp/runtime/ext/mcrypt/ext_mcrypt.cpp in Facebook HipHop Virtual Machine (HHVM) before 3.3.0 does not seed the random number generator, which makes it easier for remote attackers to defeat cryptographic protection mechanisms by leveraging the use of a single initial...

CVE-2014-6228
Published: 2014-12-28
Integer overflow in the string_chunk_split function in hphp/runtime/base/zend-string.cpp in Facebook HipHop Virtual Machine (HHVM) before 3.3.0 allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (application crash) or possibly have unspecified other impact via crafted arguments to the chunk_split ...

CVE-2014-6229
Published: 2014-12-28
The HashContext class in hphp/runtime/ext/ext_hash.cpp in Facebook HipHop Virtual Machine (HHVM) before 3.3.0 incorrectly expects that a certain key string uses '\0' for termination, which allows remote attackers to obtain sensitive information by leveraging read access beyond the end of the string,...

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Join us Wednesday, Dec. 17 at 1 p.m. Eastern Time to hear what employers are really looking for in a chief information security officer -- it may not be what you think.