Security Experts:

New Java Exploit Spotted in the Wild

Security researchers from FireEye have discovered a new zero-day Java vulnerability that is being targeted in the wild.

According to FireEye researcher Atif Mushtaq, the latest version of Java 7 is vulnerable, but some reports say Java 6 and earlier versions may not be vulnerable.

Java Zero Day Vulnerability“In my lab environment, I was able to successfully exploit my test machine against latest version of Firefox with JRE version 1.7 update 6 installed,” he wrote on the company blog

The exploit was found on a server in China, and if it successfully attacks a given endpoint, the payload that is delivered is hosted on the same server. While the IP address associated with the malicious box has been known to serve malware in the past, it isn’t responding to browser connections. Nevertheless, the IP is live.

“It's just a matter of time that a POC will be released and other bad guys will get hold of this exploit as well. It will be interesting to see when Oracle plans for a patch, until then most of the Java users are at the mercy of this exploit. Our investigation is not over yet; more details will be shared on a periodic basis.” Mushtaq concluded.

And Mushtaq was correct in his assumptions. 

On Monday, the Metasploit Exploit team at Rapid7 said they found the PoC and had developed a working exploit that they say enables a successful attack against a fully patched Windows 7 SP1 with Java 7 Update 6.

“As a user, you should take this problem seriously, because there is currently no patch from Oracle. For now, our recommendation is to completely disable Java until a fix is available,” a blog post from Rapid7 notes.

According to Jaime Blasco from AlienVault, the malware appears to be a Poison Ivy variant and connects to hello.icon.pk port 80 which resolves to 223.25.233.244.

Once again, it’s wise to remove Java if it isn’t absolutely needed in your environment. Most home users have little need for the software these days, and most experts agree the risk outweighs the reward when it comes to installing it.

If you must have Java installed, be sure to be relentless about patching with the latest security updates. Additionally, AlienVault's Blasco reminds that it is a good idea search logs for connections to the Domains/IPs related to this attack.

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Steve Ragan is a security reporter and contributor for SecurityWeek. Prior to joining the journalism world in 2005, he spent 15 years as a freelance IT contractor focused on endpoint security and security training.