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back to article Latest Java patch is not enough, warns US gov: Axe plugins NOW

Security experts advise users to not run Java in their web browsers despite a patch from Oracle that mitigates a widely exploited security vulnerability. The database giant issued an emergency out-of-band patch on Sunday, but despite this the US Department of Homeland Security continues to warn citizens to disable Java plugins …

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Mushroom

Java...meet C4

And by C4 I mean the explosive kind. Seriously....it is just insane to think of using this plugin on a site anymore in my opinion. Especially if your site is say....a bank or a government site. Just frightening.

But then, Internet Explorer is no better. Thankfully their market share is dropping in favour of other, much more secure browsers....

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Meh

The end of Java?

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Re: Java...meet C4

stephajn,

Internet Explorer isn't that bad nowadays. At least IE9 isn't. It's nothing like the security nightmare that it used to be.

I know that's less true if you're on XP, and stuck on whatever version works on that nowadays (IE7?). Even so, MS have worked hard on making it better, and deserve at least a bit of credit for having woken up to the security issues years ago. They're by no means perfect - but they have put a lot of time and money into improving things.

Adobe on the other hand... They need a righteous shafting.

I'm not sure if it's fair to blame Oracle for Java - depending on how seriously they've taken improving security since they took it over.

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Re: "Internet Explorer isn't that bad nowadays" - Yes it is.

Is Barry Shitpeas your brother by any chance ?

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Trollface

I shouldn't post this, but it's too tempting...

Eadon,

"IE is still bad, always has been, always will be bad. Microsoft are unable to write good software, history teaches this much. Despite being the browser that comes with Windows - people prefer the alternatives and go to the trouble of seeking and using them. The market has spoken.

Desktop Linux is rubbish. MS Windows is brilliant! It has over 90% share of the desktop to Linux's 1-2%. The market has spoken.

Or, perhaps things are more complicated than that? Modern IE is now OK. It's reasonably standards compliant, and I haven't heard web developers moaning about having to code specially for IE in years. The world does change you know... Microsoft are no longer the vicious monopolist they were ten years ago. Popularity doesn't always mean good, Linux is also great. In PCs phones, servers, etc.

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Happy

Re: I shouldn't post this, but it's too tempting...

@I ain't Spartacus: "The market has spoken."

Spoken true! For the Führer! Heil!

Thank you, for I started to believe the market hadn't had a chance to speak yet, due to the rubber ball gag Microsoft forced on it 30 years ago.

No matter, my mind is clear now! I will go silence the ones who have started to drift from the "spoken voice" !

We are legion! Thank you for your discipline.

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Happy

Re: Internet Explorer isn't that bad nowadays

Mr Spartacus, you're gunna get DVd like there's no tomorrow for balanced commentary like that, I'm afraid. IE is indeed far from the spew-covered monstrosity of old and I feel no less secure using. However I also have FF, Opera and the chrome-plated one simply cos different sites render better in different browsers and you learn which over time. Some sites only render properly in Chrome, some in FF, some in IE. Opera has a lovely 'block' option on the right-click, but can be sluggish. I generally prefer Chrome over IE cos of the way it handles downloads, but you can't set the 'New Tab' option to open your home page which annoys the living fuck out of me. Ah well.

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no, not java as a whole, but java as a plugin to the browser is a lemon, just as flash is, and silverlight.....sooner they are all killed off the better

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Re: "Internet Explorer isn't that bad nowadays" - Yes it is.

Is that what web developers say? Funny, you obviously aren't one and shouldn't put words into the mouths of others.

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Anonymous Coward

@Eadon Re: "Internet Explorer isn't that bad nowadays" - Yes it is.

Upvote from me.

Anyone who doubts for a nano-second that  Internet Exploder is not the absolute Spawn of the Devil has obviously never practiced the art of web design.

1: Craft a site, from code so lean and pure it's almost poetry.

2: Validate site against every test W3C can throw at it.

3: Test site in popular browsers:

* Firefox —CHECK!

* Chrome —CHECK!

* Safari —CHECK!

* Opera —CHECK!

* Internet Exploder —COMPLETELY FUCKED!

4: Spend as much time as it took you to build the site in the first place, patching, twisting and hacking to get it to run properly on that stinking POS of a browser, until the resulting code is now so deformed and ugly it makes you want to weep.

On the day Internet Exploder is finally taken out and has a bullet put through its head, web designers around the world will be popping the champagne corks. May it rot it Hell!

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Anonymous Coward

@madra

To be honest, I'm a bit sceptical of claims from any Web developer who describes his own code as "so lean and pure it's almost poetry." The old Internet Exploder thing does nothing to add to your credibility either. Not saying you're lying, just a piece of advice on how to make your arguments look less emotional. That way people are more likely to pay attention to the arguments themselves rather than dismiss them as a rant. Well, it'd make *me* more likely, anyway.

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Re: I shouldn't post this, but it's too tempting...

Eadon,

Linux on netbooks wasn't wildly popular. Otherwise they'd have kept selling it. People wanted their netbooks to run the same Windows they were used to, and then they ran really really slowly. Admittedly techies were perfectly happy with Linux, but the general customers weren't.

Also your argument directly contradicts what you say above (the very point I was making). People really hated IE6, IE7 and IE8 so they all went and got Firefox, and then Chrome. Although I'd quibble about how many people actually wanted Chrome, and how many ended up with it by Google having it installed like spyware, when you install other stuff online (how many times have I had to untick that box?). But the point is IE was shit. People changed. If Windows was so utterly shit, Linux is also free and available online, so why didn't people also change to that?

As I've said to you several times now it's more complicated than your world view seems to allow. Such is life...

Obviously Linux suffers from driver and software compatibility and Windows being the monopoly. But then so did Firefox and the others. My argument is that IE is now OK. I personally prefer Firefox, because I've got used to it, but when I have to use IE or Chrome, I barely notice the difference nowadays. Except Chrome won't let me have an old style menu bar, which FF and IE will.

There's one dev above (making a rather shrill argument) that IE still breaks sites. I'm no expert, so I'll modify my opinion if a few others agree. I've not seen a rant from a web developer about IE for several years now, whereas I used to all the time. The last stuff I read was complaints that because IE9 was mostly standards compliant it was breaking the code people had written to work with older versions, that they served to IE user agents.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @Eadon "Internet Explorer isn't that bad nowadays" - Yes it is.

@masdra If you write your webpages to the w3c spec they won't work in any modern browser so your example is biased by the fact that you must be developing against one of the browsers that you say it works in. Likewise, if you develop standards compliant html for IE it won't work in at least one of the other browsers. You can set up examples to expose any of those browsers listed as 'non compliant', and IE9 is certainly no worse than any of the others.

The fact is that none of them are 'wrong', the W3C spec simply isn't specific enough to stop minor *differences* in interpretation of that spec. With the complexity of HTML5 you can expect to see this happen all the more where certain parts of the spec won't be supported. If you account for this, testing as you go, then situation above never occurs.

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Re: @Eadon "Internet Explorer isn't that bad nowadays" - Yes it is.

Madra, you'll only encourage him.

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Re: @Eadon "Internet Explorer isn't that bad nowadays" - Yes it is.

@madra. BTDTGTTS

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Re: I shouldn't post this, but it's too tempting...

The only reason to retain windows is that most commercial 3rd party apps don't run on linux. And a lot don't run on OS-X either.

Fortunately there exists virtualisation, so a crumbling old XP installation can be invoked in a couple of seconds to to run with those.

The issue is down to the problems of melding a 'everything is free and public domain' with ''we need to make money to make this app worth writing'

I may be wrong, but if you compile something against public domain libraries, you have to render the source code available ? And cannot thereafter charge for it without paying royalties to the public domain library authors??

The problem would be solved in an instant if the Linux community simply said 'its all free, copy adapt and uses to your hearts content'

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Re: I shouldn't post this, but it's too tempting...

I know there were some problems with this over operating systems like BeOS, what, 10-15 years ago, but do you have evidence that this still continues?

I mean, these same OEM companies make tablets too these days, as well as Chromebooks. If it was that easy, why aren't they stopping Android tablets and Chromebooks? Or if Asus and Samsung aren't affected, why don't they make Linux laptops?

I think it's a shame that Linux netbooks went away, though I personally chose to buy a Windows netbook, sorry.

And don't get me wrong - I dual boot Linux on my Clevo, and think Ubuntu is still good for most people, and wish it had more share. But I don't think it's all down to some alleged evil MS practices. The biggest problem is that it doesn't have support from any major companies selling computers - and it also gets very little advertising, or coverage in the media. These are the things that are necessary. Consider even for Android, whilst massively successful on mobile, struggled on tablets simply because they got virtually zero coverage in the media. Archos released Android tablets before Apple released their ipad, but Archos were ignored, whilst the entire media hyped Apple even before initially announcing it (remember "istale"?) Android tablet share is now growing, but only because the greater marketing and awareness for the Kindle Fire and Nexus 7.

(I also have to laugh at the people who "escape this", by buying into a company that then has control over the software *and* hardware...)

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Re: I shouldn't post this, but it's too tempting...

"I may be wrong, but if you compile something against public domain libraries, you have to render the source code available ? And cannot thereafter charge for it without paying royalties to the public domain library authors??"

You are wrong, competely. If it's public domain, you can do what you like with it.

If you compile against GPL libraries, you have to release source code to distribute it. But this is true with Windows and Linux. It would only be a problem if this was common practice on Linux, but it isn't - most open source libraries instead use the LGPL, which means you can link without having to release your own source. Then there are licenses like BSD which have no such restrictions anyway. I'm not sure there is a "standard API" as such like with Windows, but toolkits like Qt, SDL, Gtk, Mesa do not have any of the problems you claim.

And for all Free and Open Source licences, by definition you can charge for them, without having to pay the authors.

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Trollface

Re: I shouldn't post this, but it's too tempting...

@I ain't Spartacus: While I know you are naive and/or have financial interests in Microsoft, I would like to point out a few things in your writings.

@I ain't Spartacus: "Linux on netbooks wasn't wildly popular... Admittedly techies were perfectly happy with Linux, but the general customers weren't."

You missed the bus here, netbooks weren't widly popular period.

@I ain't Spartacus: "As I've said to you several times now it's more complicated than your world view seems to allow. Such is life..."

This sounds arrogant. (Should I bold this for you?)

@I ain't Spartacus: "Obviously Linux suffers from driver and software compatibility..."

The usage of the words "software compatibility" is revealing. This shows you think of software only in terms of Microsoft software.

@I ain't Spartacus: "...and Windows being the monopoly". But wait, you said before "the market has spoken". Is your idea of a market really a monopoly? Flip flop, flip flop, flip...

@I ain't Spartacus: "I'm no expert...".

Agreed.

The part where you admittedly and apparently only "read" about "stuff", but choose to take a technical stance on the matter is strange, very strange. Does this "stuff" you "read" about help you gauge investments? Anyways, either you really are this person I'm reading in here, or you have a financial tie to Microsoft. From many of your comments, and lack of technical reasoning, I'm betting it's a financial tie (I'm hoping).

Off topic: When you quote someone, and both quotes are full sentences, but not consecutive, how do you do that?

For example: "I am dog. I am cat. I am animal." I want to quote the 1st and 3rd sentence, but not the second. Do you use ...? Is it "I am dog. ... I am animal." The ... looks strange.

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FAIL

Re: "Internet Explorer isn't that bad nowadays" - Yes it is.

"... Despite being the browser that comes with Windows - people prefer the alternatives and go to the trouble of seeking and using them. ..."

And on Android I use Dolphin and Opera....so by your argument, Google's shit as well.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I shouldn't post this, but it's too tempting...

Eadon you keep banging on about this:

"until MS killed that too by tellign OEMs not to put Linux on Notebook"

Independent citation required please.

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Meh

Believe it or not...

...there are actually some reasons why Java in the browser is a "useful thing". Not many, I grant you, but there are some. For example, the organisation I work for requires us to use a secured VPN tunnel with a Java client to RDP into our workstations, and plenty of other organisations require something similar.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Believe it or not...

You've been implementing your VPN wrong, change it, it's not that hard.

- Steve Jobs

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Re: Believe it or not...

IE may nowadays be more red-headed stepchild than the spawn of the devil it once was, but shitty java-based browser clients to shitty proprietary SSL VPNs are most certainly more than able to step up an assume that dubious accolade. "Requiring crap" isn't really a good use-case.

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Re: Bullshitometer

Two years to address issues, not just a bug. Rearchitecting (addressed in new releases, like java 7 and 8) would take time, like XP SP2 or Adobe Reader X.

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Coat

Re: Bullshitometer

2 years to fix bug, says someone at a "penetration testing software" vendor.

Why do journalists on a techie blog print this type of crap?

Uhhmmm... so they'll have an excuse to use the word "penetration"?

Thanks, you've been wonderful. I'm here all week. Don't forget to tip your waitress.

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Re: Bullshitometer

2 years to fix bug, says someone at a "penetration testing software" vendor.

Says a well-known, reputable security researcher. But you wouldn't know about that, would you? Do you have any actual real-world qualifications, Eadon, or are you just a sock puppet that exists only to whine about how Microsoft done you wrong? Honestly, you're like a record at the end of the track: just the same noise over and over.

And it's not "to fix bug" [sic]. Moore suggested it would likely take Oracle a couple of years to address this class of vulnerabilities. Do you understand the vulnerabilities? I would guess not. Here's a hint: they involve using reflection to bypass access restrictions (primarily implemented through visibility, which was not a good idea) on privileged methods, and thereby elevate privilege. (It's a trampoline attack, in other words.) Closing any number of such holes doesn't provide much confidence that they're all closed, or that new ones won't be created in the next release; so the developers will need to rethink their entire approach to access restriction for privileged methods, then implement it, then find and refactor all the old code that depends on the current approach.

So yeah, that might take a little while - assuming Oracle commits to actually fixing this in the first place.

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Anonymous Coward

What is needed...

All Anti-virus companies need to start treating drive-by malware as viruses and STOP them from getting onto my computer. For years malware has been largely ignored by AV companies and outfits like Malwarebytes and Spybot have stepped in to fill the gap. Even today, Malwarebytes picks up trojans and other crap my Symantec (Work) and AVG (Home) miss.

Sandbox the browser and squash anything that acts up. If a few web sites break as a result then good. Maybe we will stop going to them in time.

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Childcatcher

Re: What is needed...

For years malware has been largely ignored by AV companies...

You have it in a nutshell: don't rely on any single product to provide security. A layered approach is the way to go.

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Re: What is needed...

its been possible with sensible security settings but then your computer wouldn't be the fun you want it to be.

So do you want simple and fun or secure and complicated? They are mutually exclusive despite what you've been told by people who sell you this crap.

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Trollface

Re: What is needed...

>You have it in a nutshell: don't rely on any single product to provide security. A layered approach is the way to go.

Yeah because nothing makes the games scream like having 5 different apps looking at every disk read and write. Granted you can have whitelists and such but what a damn bother. Good security especially on Windows is always a far amount of work and there is generally a trade off of security vs performance and usability. Still there is a reason I generally only access my banking accounts with *nix machines. Windows is for gaming and work but not really security.

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Windows

Re: What is needed...

To misquote Homer Simpson... Anti-virus companies; the cause of, and solution to, so many of life's problems!

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Re: What is needed...

What *I* want is for Firefox on Android to work like it does on the desktop, and support:

-- Trueblock Plus

-- Adblock Plus

-- Better Privacy

-- Caffeine Security Secure Firefox

-- Flashblock

-- Google Privacy

-- Noscript

-- Request Policy

Any site operators and any development managers who would deny me these need a S-E-V-E-R-E ASS kicking.

Not every visitor will want these levels of security concurrently, but for those of us who bought tablets, only to find out Mozilla gives F*ckall a care for our needs, it is disheartening. Google can't be bothered to give an expeditious frack and so won't give us proper, built-in IDS, firewalls, and reporting toos having forensics quality so we who care can lob that information to law enforcement in a package they can read, sort, and format for case prosecution. I do NOT two F*CKS what marketing people want, what paid-for sponsors or sponsees want, or the like. There is way too much criminal activity going on against ordinary people who surf for any sort of priority to be granted to marketing people who put data scarfing above user protection.

Yes, I become extraordinarily livid when this vein of topic arises. Fortunately, I do not have a $25,000,000 pot from which to pay bounty hunters with K.O.S orders. Wait, in certain jurisdictions, that could get me arrested, right? That is why it is FORTUNATE I do NOT have the monetary or Houdini resources to pull off bounties and remain undetected.

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Joke

Re: What is needed...

Just by an Apple or (x)ix product & you'll have nothing to worry about.

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WTF?

Re: What is needed...

Java is already sandboxed.

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Joke

Re: What is needed...

"What *I* want is for Firefox on Android to work like it does on the desktop....."

Sorry, my battery doesn't last that long

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I could get rid of Java from my PC if someone would come up with a alternative file manager for webmin that doesn't require java as i need it to admin my web servers

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Alternative and secure option

CLI and SSH.

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Anonymous Coward

Java

Write your malware once and run it anywhere

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Re: Java

>Write your malware once and run it anywhere

Only because its able to avoid the horrible pile of steaming shit that is Swing.

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Trollface

Re: Java

> 2013

> Still not into Griffon

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Facepalm

Re: I could get rid of Java ...

The problem applies to a program specifically coded using tool kits (java packages) which have been designed to take advantage of the security holes in Oracle's JVM called Java 7.

Running a desktop application such as Minecraft is not a problem.

OpenJDK is an excellent alternative to Oracle's JVM and is standard on Linux.

OpenJDK is still version 6 build 20-ish (IcedTea6) and so won't suffer from this particular security problem.

Yet the US Gov have used the term Java to imply there's just a single JVM.

Java is the language not a particular runtime. There are many different Java Virtual Machines. Most mobile telephones have one but NOT an Oracle JVM. None of these security problems can exist, by any means, on these devices. The JVM simply isn't the same or used in mobile device browsers.

Java isn't the problem, Java is a programming language. The security problem lays squarely at the door of one implementation of the JVM: Oracle's.

Uninstall Oracle's Java 7 software and replace it with OpenJDK.

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Re: I could get rid of Java ...

OpenJDK and IcedTea are also affected. OpenJDK and oracles JVM share much of the same code base.

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Re: I could get rid of Java ...

Can you cite a source for that, please? I'm genuinely interested to know if OpenJDK/IcedTea is affected or not.

A bit of quick searching only yields me forums postings - nothing authoritative.

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Re: I could get rid of Java ...

How about the document referred to in the article?

http://www.kb.cert.org/vuls/id/625617

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Re: I could get rid of Java ...

Thanks! Dunno how I missed that. My excuse is that I'm laid up with the lurgy.

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Agreed, Tuxtester, and a really important point that writers are missing. The vulnerabilities are in JVM / Java Runtime Environment. JavaScript is OK, right ?

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