Unpatched Java vulnerability exploited in targeted attacks, researchers say

A Java vulnerability that has yet to be patched is being actively exploited by cybercriminals

By Lucian Constantin, IDG News Service |  Security, java, Oracle

A Metasploit user also reported testing the exploit successfully on Mac OS X 10.7.4 with Safari version 6.0 and Java 7 update 6.

At the Black Hat security conference in July, security researchers warned that Java vulnerabilities are increasingly targeted by attackers and that exploits for new Java vulnerabilities are being integrated into attack toolkits faster than ever before.

"The widespread use of Java makes it an interesting target in itself," Eiram said. "However, another major reason for why Java is interesting from an exploitation point-of-view is how it's affected by certain bypass type vulnerabilities (like this one); these make it easy to reliably create exploits across different versions and platforms without having to worry about various security mechanisms e.g. ASLR and DEP on Windows."

It's not clear when Oracle will release a patch for this vulnerability. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In the meantime users are left with very few options to protect themselves. "We are not aware of any fixes or workarounds except disabling/uninstalling Java," Eiram said.

However, uninstalling or disabling Java is probably not an acceptable solution for a large number of companies and users that rely on Java-based Web applications to conduct their daily business.

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