After attacks, Oracle patches Java bug

A 0day attack was being used in drive-by downloads

One week after a critical bug was made public, Oracle has patched its Java virtual machine to fix an exploit that could be used to sneak malicious software onto a computer.

That's a good thing, because earlier this week, security vendor AVG said that it had spotted the exploit for this bug being used in a real-world cyber-attack.

Oracle released its Java SE 6 version 20 update Thursday morning. It addresses three security bugs in Java, including the vulnerability exploited in AVG's attack, which was made public last week by Google researcher Tavis Ormandy.

That flaw affects the Windows version of Java 6 10 and later, Ormandy said in a note disclosing the problem, posted to a security discussion list last week.

He said that Oracle's Java team had initially told him that the vulnerability wasn't serious enough to force it to rush out a patch -- the next Java security update had been scheduled for July -- but Oracle apparently changed its mind after hackers started exploiting the flaw.

An Oracle spokeswoman wasn't immediately available to comment on the matter Thursday.

The flaw made public by Ormandy lies in the way Java's Web Start component lets users launch applications from a URL. An attacker can tell the virtual machine to install a maliciously encoded Java library, which could then be used to start a malicious program.

Earlier this week, AVG Technologies reported that the Web site Songlyrics.com had been hacked and was redirecting visitors to a Russian server that launched just such an attack.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags security patchsecurityjavabugOracle

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Robert McMillan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?