- These vulnerabilities affect: Oracle Java Runtime Environment (JRE) and Java Development Kit (JDK) 7 Update 10 and earlier, on all platforms
- How an attacker exploits them: Multiple vectors of attack, including luring your users to a malicious web page containing specially crafted Java
- Impact: In the worst case, an attacker can gain complete control of your computer
- What to do: Install JRE and JDK 7 Update 11
Java is a programming language (first implemented by Sun Microsystems) used most often to enhance web pages. Most operating systems today implement a Java interpreter to recognize and process Java code from websites and other sources. Oracle’s Sun Java Runtime Environment (JRE) is one of the most popular Java interpreters currently used.
During last week’s WatchGuard Security Week in Review video, I warned you about a critical zero day vulnerably in the latest version of Java (JRE and JDK 7 Update 10 and earlier), which attackers are actively exploiting in the wild. If an attacker can lure you to a web site containing a malicious Java applet, he could exploit this flaw to gain complete control of you computer.
This week, Oracle released an out-of-cycle security update that fixes the zero day vulnerability, and a second one to boot. They rate each of these Java vulnerabilities with a base CVSS score of 10.0; the most severe rating. Since attackers are exploiting these flaws very actively, and have already built them into popular web exploit frameworks, we highly recommend you apply Oracle’s emergency update immediately. In fact, if you don’t need Java, I suggest you remove it from your computer.
Oracle has released JRE and JDK Update 11 to correct these issues. If you use Java, download and deploy the appropriate update immediately, or let Java’s automatic update do it for you. You’ll find more information on where to get the updates in the Patch Table section of Oracle’s alert.
Furthermore, attackers have heavily targeted Java lately in their exploit frameworks. If you do not need Java in your organization, I suggest you remove it.
For All WatchGuard Users:
WatchGuard XTM appliances can help protect you from this Java vulnerability in a number of ways:
- If you like, you can leverage our proxy policies to block Java applets. Keep in mind, this will block legitimate Java applets as well
- WatchGuard’s AV partner, AVG, has developed signatures to catch these zero day exploits. If you use our Gateway AntiViris (GAV) service, it will protect you from some of these attacks.
- WatchGuard’s signature writers have developed a generic Java signature, which should block some variants of this attack.
- WebBlocker and WatchGuard’s Reputation Enabled Defense (RED) service both can prevent you from visiting the malicious drive-by download sites that leverage this sort of vulnerability.
Despite the XTM appliance’s many protections, we still recommend you download and install the Java update to completely protect yourself from these flaws. Better yet, don’t install Java if you don’t need it.
Oracle has issued updates to correct these issues.
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Need help with the jargon? Try the LiveSecurity Online Glossary.