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Fresh Java exploit goes on sale for $5,000

16 Jan 2013
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A new exploit targeting Oracle's Java platform has emerged just days after the company released a rushed patch to secure the service.

The exploit was detected on Wednesday by KrebsonSecurity and reportedly targets another unpatched zero day vulnerability in Java.

"On Monday, an administrator of an exclusive cybercrime forum posted a message saying he was selling a new Java zero-day to a lucky two buyers. The cost: starting at $5,000 each," wrote security blogger Brian Krebs.

"The hacker forum admin's message promised weaponised and source code versions of the exploit. This seller also said his Java zero-day - in the latest version of Java (Java 7 Update 11) - was not yet part of any exploit kits, including the Cool Exploit Kit."

If accurate, then the zero-day vulnerability will be the second discovered this year. The first vulnerability was discovered after researchers spotted a ransomware Trojan known as Reveton targeting the flaw.

Unlike the alleged new attack, the original vulnerability was linked with the popular Blackhole and Cool exploit kits. The kits are infamous tools traded on the black market that allow criminals to mount automated attacks.

The original attack led to widespread calls from within the security industry for internet users to turn Java off.

The calls reached epidemic levels when the US Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) re-iterated advice that internet users shut the software down, days after Oracle released its security update.

Despite the security issues numerous companies have noted simply turning Java off may not be an option for enterprise level businesses.

Krebbs was quick to reiterate this sentiment, noting that Java's web apps were never designed for use in the consumer space.

"Much of the advice on how to lock down Java on consumer PCs simply doesn't scale in the enterprise, and vice-versa," wrote Krebbs.

"Oracle's unprecedented four-day turnaround on a patch for the last zero-day flaw notwithstanding, the company lacks any kind of outward sign of awareness that its software is so broadly installed on consumer systems.

"Oracle seems to be sending a message that it doesn't want hundreds of millions of consumer users; those users should listen and respond accordingly."

At the time of publishing Oracle had not responded to V3's request for comment on the alleged new vulnerability.

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Alastair Stevenson

Alastair has worked as a reporter covering security and mobile issues at V3 since March 2012. Before entering the field of journalism Alastair had worked in numerous industries as both a freelance copy writer and artist.

View Alastair's Google+ profile

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