Security Experts:

Oracle's Java Patch Shipped with Additional Vulnerabilities

Oracle isn’t having a good month as far as PR and security is concerned. Adam Gowdiak, a researcher in Poland with Security Explorations, says that Oracle’s recent patch for Java contains not one, but two additional vulnerabilities.

“We have successfully confirmed that a complete Java security sandbox bypass can be still gained under the recent version of Java 7 Update 11,” Gowdiak wrote in a post to Full Disclosure. 

“MBeanInstantiator bug (or rather a lack of a fix for it) turned out to be quite inspirational for us. However, instead of relying on this particular bug, we have decided to dig our own issues," Gowdiak said. "As a result, two new security vulnerabilities (51 and 52) were spotted in a recent version of Java SE 7 code and they were reported to Oracle today (along with a working Proof of Concept code).”

Java Zero Day

Earlier this month, researchers discovered a Java vulnerability being widely exploited online, as it was included in several crime kits, including Blackhole and Cool Exploit. Oracle responded to the discovery by shipping a patch rather quickly, which under normal circumstances would be great news.

However, the patch wasn’t a complete fix, so Java remained vulnerable to attack via the crime kits. The additional discovery of two new flaws only makes things worse. At the time the patch was released, Gowdiak, said his firm would hold-off from telling their customers that Java is safe to use again, due to the sheer volume of issues his firm discovered over the last year.  

His stance mirrored that of the US Department of Homeland Security, which has urged users to avoid Java entirely if possible, or disable it within the browser.

Oracle hasn’t responded to the two new flaws publically, but it did assign tracking numbers to Gowdiak once they were accepted by the security team.

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.