Cybercriminals add new exploit for recently patched Java vulnerability to their arsenal

Newly released exploit for Java vulnerability patched in June was added to the Styx exploit toolkit, researcher said

Cybercriminals were quick to integrate a newly released exploit for a Java vulnerability patched in June into a tool used to launch mass attacks against users, an independent malware researcher warned.

The exploit targets a critical vulnerability identified as CVE-2013-2465 that affects all Java versions older than Java 7 Update 25 and can enable remote code execution. The vulnerability was patched by Oracle in its June Critical Patch Update for Java.

The exploit was released Monday by security research group Packet Storm Security, which originally acquired it through its bug bounty program as a zero-day exploit -- an exploit for an unpatched vulnerability -- from a researcher whose name was not disclosed. Packet Storm publishes the exploits it acquires 60 days after it receives them, with permission from their authors, so other security professionals can use them to perform penetration tests and security risk assessments.

Two days after its release, the CVE-2013-2465 exploit was already integrated into so-called exploit kits, attack tools that infect computers with malware by exploiting vulnerabilities in outdated software when users visit compromised websites.

An independent malware researcher who uses the online alias Kafeine found a live installation of the Styx exploit kit, previously known as Kein, that is using the exploit.

From an attacker's perspective the exploit for CVE-2013-2465 is better than the exploit for CVE-2013-2460, another Java vulnerability also patched in June, that was recently integrated into a different attack toolkit called the Private Exploit Pack, Kafeine said Thursday in a blog post. That's because CVE-2013-2465 affects both Java 7 and Java 6 installations, while CVE-2013-2460 only affects Java 7, he said.

Oracle ended its public support for Java 6 in April and will no longer release security updates for it to all users. Despite this, Java 6 is still widely used, especially in enterprise environments.

A recent study by security firm Bit9 showed that more than 80 percent of Java-enabled enterprise computers have Java 6 installed on them. The most widely deployed Java version on those systems was Java 6 Update 20.

The latest publicly available version of Java 6 is Java 6 Update 45, which is also affected by CVE-2013-2465. The vulnerability was patched in Java 6 Update 51, but this version is only available to users who have extended support contracts with Oracle.

The fact that an exploit for CVE-2013-2465 is publicly available and has already been integrated in mass attack toolkits suggests that this vulnerability will soon see widespread exploitation. Users who have yet to upgrade to Java 7 Update 25 might want to do so as soon as possible.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags patchesonline safetysecuritypatch managementExploits / vulnerabilitiesmalwareOracle

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.

Lucian Constantin

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

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

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

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

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.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?