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New Java feature aims to manage multiple version problems

John P. Mello Jr. | Sept. 16, 2013
Admins now can link apps to a specific version of programming language

"There's some neat security features like the ability to select what version of Java runs for a particular app," he continued, "but as far as impacting overall security posture, I don't see it providing an extra level of security."

Moreover, DRS could contribute to less secure networks by allowing organizations to feel comfortable using older, vulnerability-riddled releases of Java. "It reduces the chances that an organization is going to invest in updating their critical apps to support a newer version of Java," Watson said.

Oracle maintains that its latest Java release will improve security by increasing awareness of an app's origins. "By seeing the actual company or signer, the user is protected from running code by someone that they do not know," wrote Product Manager Costlow.

Security experts, though, were skeptical about that Oracle claim. "I'd worry that its just another dialogue that they'll ignore," Timo Hirvonen, a senior researcher with F-Secure, said in an interview. "I wouldn't bet money on that feature saving the world."

Oracle has been experimenting with various pop-ups and warnings over the last several months. "The idea is that if you go to a website and a message pops up, you can make an educated decision about it," Qualys CTO Wolfgang Kandek said in an interview.

"How well that works is doubtful," he said. "Most users don't understand what they mean and just click through to go on with the task they're trying to accomplish."

 

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