Java 7 Update 21 to fix bugs, change applet warning messages

The new update will fix 42 security issues, 39 of which are remotely exploitable

Oracle will release a new version of Java on Tuesday that will include 42 security fixes and will make changes to how Web-based Java content will be presented inside browsers.

Thirty-nine of the vulnerabilities patched by the new Java 7 Update 21 (7u21) can be exploited remotely without authentication, Oracle said in a pre-release announcement. Some of them have the maximum score on the CVSS 2.0 scale used by Oracle to rate the severity of vulnerabilities.

In addition to security fixes, the new update will also make changes to how Java applets -- Web-based Java applications -- are handled and presented in Web browsers that have the Java plug-in enabled.

"The Java 7u21 release introduces changes to security messages related to running Java applets and applications," Oracle said in a technical document that explains the changes. "All Java applications executed via the user's browser will prompt the user for confirmation. The type of messages presented depends upon different risk factors such as running applications that include invalid digital certificates, and using out of date versions of Java."

The changes follow an large number of attacks this year that have used Web-based Java exploits to infect computers with malware. The company hopes that the changes will encourage developers to sign their legitimate Java applets with digital certificates issued by publicly trusted certificate authorities (CAs).

In cases where the risk of an attack is lower, like when the applet is digitally signed with a CA-issued certificate, the messages displayed to users will be minimal and there will be an option to automatically trust applications from the same vendors in the future.

However, when dealing with unsigned applets, the warning messages will contain more information that will reflect the higher security risk. Additional interaction will also be required from users who want to run such applets, Oracle said.

The company has published an overview of all use cases of signed and unsigned applets with example of how the warning dialogs will look in each case.

This new release is the result of Oracle's plan to accelerate its patching cycle for Java and will coincide with the release of security updates for other Oracle applications and middleware products that used to be updated separately.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Oraclepatches

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

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?