In a rare, if not unprecedented, move, Oracle on Thursday issued an out-of-cycle patch for vulnerabilities in Java 7 that have been widely exploited to spread malware.
"This Security Alert addresses security issues CVE-2012-4681...and two other vulnerabilities affecting Java running in web browsers on desktops," the advisory said. "These vulnerabilities are not applicable to Java running on servers or standalone Java desktop applications. They also do not affect Oracle server-based software."
IT administrators from around the world have been waiting with bated breath since public exploit code was posted over the weekend. Since then, the Java attack has been added to BlackHole, immediately making the crimeware kit more than doubly effective.
Researchers at Symantec also reported that the exploit was being foisted by the Nitro crime gang, which have, in the past, targeted chemical companies with the goal of stealing intellectual property.
Meanwhile, experts at Sophos said they spotted Java attacks arriving in emails claiming to be from a tax accounting firm.
Researchers have estimated that at least tens of thousands of devices have become infected, and hundreds of websites have been compromised to distribute the malware.
Normally Oracle releases Java updates on a quarterly basis, with the next ones scheduled for mid-October. While the company has remained mum about this issue, much to the chagrin of many security industry professionals, issuing an emergency fix underscores how pressing this matter was to correct.
This article originally appeared at scmagazineus.com
Copyright © SC Magazine, US edition
Issue: 335 | January/February 2015
Access CRN's extensive online resources including; email bulletins, community discussions and unique online news.
Processing registration... Please wait.
This process can take up to a minute to complete.
A confirmation email has been sent to your email address - SUPPLIED GOES EMAIL HERE. Please click on the link in the email to verify your email address. You need to verify your email before you can log on to the CRN website or start posting comments on articles.
If you do not receive your confirmation email within the next few minutes, it may be because the email has been captured by a junk mail filter. Please ensure you add the domain '@crn.com.au' to your white-listed senders.