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January 11, 2013

Security Vendors Issue Warning: Disable Java to Protect Computers from Zero-Day Exploit

Security vendors are advising those of you out there who use Java to disable the Java support in your computers, in order to stay unexposed to the recently discovered Java zero-day exploit, which cropped up on the Web.

Millions of computers are potentially at risk now, whether they use Windows, Linux or Mac operating systems, as Java works with each.

Zero-day vulnerability still has no fix, so the risk is especially high, and users should take caution.

“Currently, we detect the exploits as JAVA_EXPLOIT.RG, with the sites that load this exploit code detected as HTML_EXPLOIT.RG,” explained the blog site, Trend Micro. “The Reveton payloads are detected as TROJ_REVETON.RG and TROJ_REVETON.RJ.”

Reveton is a common ransomware threat that locks users’ systems and shows fake notifications from local police agencies. A box will pop up, informing the user to unlock their system, but to do so, the user must pay a hefty fine.

The faux fines generally range from about $160 to $480, and have been found to be used by toolkits including the Blackhole Exploit Kit (BHEK) and the Cool Exploit Kit (CEK).

“If Java content is not needed, users may opt to uninstall Java as it can pose certain security risk,” continued the blog post. “If it is needed, users must use the security feature to disable Java content via the Java Control Panel, that shipped in the latest version of Java 7.”

Trend Micro (News - Alert) isn’t the only company trying to get the word out about this threat and how to protect oneself from it though.

Jamie Blasco, Alien Vault’s head of labs, also wrote up a blog post on the issue.

“Right now the only way to protect your machine against this exploit is disabling the Java browser plugin. Let’s see how long does it take for Oracle (News - Alert) to release a patch,” said Blasco.

Oracle has made little comment on the Java zero day exploit, aside from confirming the company has received a number of requests for a statement, but is currently declining.

A comment may be released next week, however, if Oracle does decide to clear anything up to the public.

“Perhaps this use of [a] zero-day exploit is a taste of trends to follow with regards to cyber criminal toolkits,” added Trend Micro.

We can only hope. 

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO Miami 2013, Jan 29- Feb. 1 in Miami, Florida.  Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Braden Becker

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