Threatpost has reported on a new zero-day vulnerability that is affecting the Oracle Java plugin used in all popular web browsers, and this time, all operating systems, including Apple’s OS X which is typically excluded from most security exploits. So far, the white hats are ahead of the game on this one, having detected and then demonstrated the hack to Oracle in a “proof of concept” as opposed to discovering malware in the wild exploiting the security hole. In case you missed it, Oracle experienced a similar situation not less than a month ago with Java 7, so it’s likely there are more holes waiting to be discovered.
What this means for you:
This is a fairly significant vulnerability according to the folks that discovered it, as it affects multiple version of Java, including the most recent version 7 release, and multiple operating systems. However, it does not appear to be widely exploited yet, giving Oracle time to patch it up before malware writers can disperse malware to take advantage of this hole. According to Oracle, Java is in use on billions of devices, so if they were to ignore this vulnerability, there could be serious repercussions. If Oracle drags its feet on releasing a patch, you may want to consider disabling the Java plugin in your browser, or uninstalling it altogether. Before you do that, make sure you don’t rely on Java for any critical business applications – you may be surprised to find out just how often you use Java without knowing it!