Security Experts:

Newly-Discovered Java Vulnerability Enables Bypass of Security Sandbox

Researchers from Security Explorations, the group who pointed out that the recently released patch to address a previous vulnerability in Java was easily bypassed, said they have discovered yet another flaw. This time however, the issue impacts Java installations as far back as version 5, which is still in use online, and all browsers.

According to a post on the Full Disclosure mailing list, Java SE 5 (update 22), Java SE 6 (update 35), and Java 7 (update 7) are all vulnerable, allowing a full system compromise if exploited. The researchers say they confirmed the issue on Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer, Opera, and Safari.

“We've recently discovered yet another security vulnerability affecting all latest versions of Oracle Java SE software," Security Explorations' Adam Gowdiak posted to the Full Disclosure List. "The impact of this issue is critical - we were able to successfully exploit it and achieve a complete Java security sandbox bypass in the environment of Java SE 5, 6 and 7.”

Other than announcing the discovery, no other information was provided, as they gave the details to Oracle with the hope that they would patch it in time for the October security releases.

The irony that nothing of technical value was shared on the Full Disclosure post wasn’t lost on some of the mailing list’s readers. “I don't see any details? This list is ‘full disclosure,’ not touch self in public,” commented Chris Evans in a response to the initial post.

Meanwhile, Oracle has made no comment on the disclosure, and it’s likely that they won’t, given that they have a new issue to address on top of everything else.

“We hope that a news about one billion users of Oracle Java SE software being vulnerable to yet another security flaw is not gonna spoil the taste of Larry Ellison's morning...Java,” the Full Disclosure post taunted.

To date, Security Explorations has disclosed 31 Java related issues to Oracle, including 17 of them that completely bypass the sandbox protections.

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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.