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Alert (TA13-032A)

Oracle Java Multiple Vulnerabilities

Original release date: February 01, 2013 | Last revised: February 06, 2013

Systems Affected

Any system using Oracle Java including

  • JDK and JRE 7 Update 11 and earlier
  • JDK and JRE 6 Update 38 and earlier
  • JDK and JRE 5.0 Update 38 and earlier
  • SDK and JRE 1.4.2_40 and earlier
  • JavaFX 2.2.4 and earlier
  • Java 1.6.0_37 and earlier for Mac OS X and OS X Server 10.6.8

Web browsers using the Java plug-in are at high risk.

Overview

Multiple vulnerabilities in Java could allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code on a vulnerable system.

Description

The Oracle Java SE Critical Patch Update Advisory for February 2013 addresses multiple vulnerabilities in the Java Runtime Environment (JRE). Both Java applets delivered via web browsers and stand-alone Java applications are affected, however web browsers using the Java plug-in are at particularly high risk.

The Java plug-in, the Java Deployment Toolkit plug-in, and Java Web Start can be used as attack vectors. An attacker could use social engineering techniques to entice a user to visit a link to a website hosting a malicious Java applet. An attacker could also compromise a legitimate web site and upload a malicious Java applet (a "drive-by download" attack).

Some vulnerabilities affect stand-alone Java applications, depending on how the Java application functions and how it processes untrusted data.

Reports indicate that at least one of these vulnerabilities is being actively exploited.

Further technical details are available in Vulnerability Note VU#858729.

Impact

By convincing a user to load a malicious Java applet or Java Network Launching Protocol (JNLP) file, an attacker could execute arbitrary code on a vulnerable system with the privileges of the Java plug-in process.

Stand-alone java applications may also be affected.

Solution

Update Java

The Oracle Java SE Critical Patch Update Advisory for February 2013 states that Java 7 Update 13 and Java 6 Update 39 address these vulnerabilities.

Disable Java in web browsers

These and previous Java vulnerabilities have been widely targeted by attackers, and new Java vulnerabilities are likely to be discovered. To defend against this and future Java vulnerabilities, consider disabling Java in web browsers until adequate updates have been installed. As with any software, unnecessary features should be disabled or removed as appropriate for your environment.

Starting with Java 7 Update 10, it is possible to disable Java content in web browsers through the Java control panel applet. From Setting the Security Level of the Java Client:

For installations where the highest level of security is required, it is possible to entirely prevent any Java apps (signed or unsigned) from running in a browser by de-selecting Enable Java content in the browser in the Java Control Panel under the Security tab.

If you are unable to update to Java 7 Update 13 please see the solution section of Vulnerability Note VU#636312 for instructions on how to disable Java on a per-browser basis.

Restrict access to Java applets

Network administrators unable to disable Java in web browsers may be able to help mitigate these and other Java vulnerabilities by restricting access to Java applets using a web proxy. Most web proxies have features that can be used to block or whitelist requests for .jar and .class files based on network location. Filtering requests that contain a Java User-Agent header may also be effective. For environments where Java is required on the local intranet, the proxy can be configured to allow access to Java applets hosted locally, but block access to Java applets on the internet.

References

Revisions

  • February 01, 2013: Initial release
  • February 05, 2013: Updated affected Java versions

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