Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Endpoint

7/16/2015
01:30 PM
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
100%
0%

Java Back In The Bullseye

Adobe Flash may be all the attack rage lately, but Oracle's new pile of patches -- including one for an 0day spotted in the wild -- highlight how Java remains an attractive target.

Remember -- before Adobe Flash -- when Java was the darling of cybercriminals and other nefarious hackers? Well, Java is getting some bad-guy love once again, with a nation-state group employing a zero-day vulnerability that was among 25 Java bug patches from Oracle's fixes for some 193 software bugs overall this week.

The so-called Pawn Storm cyber espionage gang thought to be out of Russia has targeted US military, embassy, and defense contractors for several years, and most recently, the White House and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Researchers this month spotted Pawn Storm using a zero-day remote code execution bug in Java. That flaw-- CVE-2015-2590-- was among those fixed by Oracle this week, and was one of the first Java 0days spotted in the wild in the past two years.

Calls to disable Java on the desktop and in browsers over the past two years appear to have made it a less attractive target for the bad guys, who of late have been all about abusing Adobe Flash. Experts recommend disabling Flash, which Adobe is regularly patching for new bugs, and some are even recommending eradicating it altogether.

Trend Micro researchers wrote in a post this week about the new Java 0day. "Trend Micro first came across this vulnerability (and exploit) as part of our ongoing investigations on Operation Pawn Storm. We found email messages  targeting a certain armed forces of a NATO country and a US defense organization contained these malicious URLs where the Java exploit is hosted," Trend Micro said. "This exploit sets off a chain of malware infections that lead to its final payload: an information-stealing malware."

Meanwhile, of the 25 CVEs patched in Oracle's batch of security fixes, 24 of them affect Java SE 8, the newest version of Java. "Of the 25 CVEs fixed in this patch, 24 of them (96%) affect Java SE 8 which is the latest and most up-to-date Java version. This reveals that the security of Java's APIs has not significantly improved over time. This is something of a paradox, since at Java's inception is was specifically promoted as being a secure computing platform," says Java expert and Waratek CTO John Matthew Holt.

Of the 25 flaws, 23 are remotely exploitable bugs that require no authentication, he says. "These are very serious and cover the maximum severity score of CVSS 10.0 -- in other words, as bad as it gets," Holt says.

Java SE 7 is no longer supported by Oracle, he notes, which is problematic for enterprises. "So Enterprises running Java SE 7 applications -- which is virtually every large enterprise today -- cannot automatically download and apply these important security fixes."

According to Warateck, less than 10% of companies are running Java 8 in live production today and around 30% run Java 7.

 

Kelly Jackson Higgins is the Executive Editor of Dark Reading. She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise ... View Full Bio
 

Recommended Reading:

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
alphaa10
50%
50%
alphaa10,
User Rank: Strategist
7/19/2015 | 4:33:06 AM
Oracle and Due Diligence
Anticipating the "threat environment" requires constant effort, and Oracle has made it clear Java is no longer as safe as believed.

While a belated response by Oracle is better than none at all, Java in major production environments has been placed at the worst possible risk.

 

 
Thomas Claburn
50%
50%
Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Ninja
7/16/2015 | 4:40:13 PM
Between Java and Flash...
...and all the OS vulnerabilitys in Android, Windows, iOS and OS X, it's no wonder why we see contant breaches.
News
Inside the Ransomware Campaigns Targeting Exchange Servers
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  4/2/2021
Commentary
Beyond MITRE ATT&CK: The Case for a New Cyber Kill Chain
Rik Turner, Principal Analyst, Infrastructure Solutions, Omdia,  3/30/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you today!
Flash Poll
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
Recent breaches of third-party apps are driving many organizations to think harder about the security of their off-the-shelf software as they continue to move left in secure software development practices.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2021-3493
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-17
The overlayfs implementation in the linux kernel did not properly validate with respect to user namespaces the setting of file capabilities on files in an underlying file system. Due to the combination of unprivileged user namespaces along with a patch carried in the Ubuntu kernel to allow unprivile...
CVE-2021-3492
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-17
Shiftfs, an out-of-tree stacking file system included in Ubuntu Linux kernels, did not properly handle faults occurring during copy_from_user() correctly. These could lead to either a double-free situation or memory not being freed at all. An attacker could use this to cause a denial of service (ker...
CVE-2020-2509
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-17
A command injection vulnerability has been reported to affect QTS and QuTS hero. If exploited, this vulnerability allows attackers to execute arbitrary commands in a compromised application. We have already fixed this vulnerability in the following versions: QTS 4.5.2.1566 Build 20210202 and later Q...
CVE-2020-36195
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-17
An SQL injection vulnerability has been reported to affect QNAP NAS running Multimedia Console or the Media Streaming add-on. If exploited, the vulnerability allows remote attackers to obtain application information. QNAP has already fixed this vulnerability in the following versions of Multimedia C...
CVE-2021-29445
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-16
jose-node-esm-runtime is an npm package which provides a number of cryptographic functions. In versions prior to 3.11.4 the AES_CBC_HMAC_SHA2 Algorithm (A128CBC-HS256, A192CBC-HS384, A256CBC-HS512) decryption would always execute both HMAC tag verification and CBC decryption, if either failed `JWEDe...