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Researchers find critical vulnerability in Java 7 patch hours after release

Lucian Constantin | Sept. 3, 2012
Security researchers from Poland-based security firm Security Explorations claim to have discovered a vulnerability in the Java 7 security update released Thursday that can be exploited to escape the Java sandbox and execute arbitrary code on the underlying system.

Security researchers have always warned that if vendors take too much time to address a reported vulnerability it might be discovered by the bad guys in the meantime, if they don't already know about it.

It happened on multiple occasions for different bug hunters to discover the same vulnerability in the same product independently and this is what might have also happened in the case of the two actively exploited Java vulnerabilities that were addressed by Java 7 Update 7.

"Independent discoveries can never be excluded," Gowdiak said. "This specific issue [the new vulnerability] might be however a little bit more difficult to find."

Based on the experience of Security Explorations researchers with hunting for Java vulnerabilities so far, Java 6 has better security than Java 7. "Java 7 was surprisingly much easier for us to break," Gowdiak said. "For Java 6, we didn't manage to achieve a full sandbox compromise, except for the issue discovered in Apple Quicktime for Java software."

Gowdiak has echoed what many security researchers have said before: If you don't need Java, uninstall it from your system.

 

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