CIO Today

CIO Today Network Sites:   Top Tech News  |   CIO Today   |   Mobile Tech Today   |   Data Storage Today
Daily Briefing for Technology's Top Decision-Makers
Wednesday, April 23rd 
Real-time info services with Neustar
This ad will display for the next 20 seconds. Please click for more information, or scroll down to pass the ad, or Close Ad.
Trending Topics:   Security Heartbleed Big Data Cloud Computing Windows XP Data Centers OS X Mavericks
Home
Enterprise Software
Enterprise Hardware
Big Data
Network Security
Cloud Computing
CRM Systems
Data Storage
Operating Systems
Communications
CIO Issues
Mobile Tech
Chips & Processors
World Wide Web
Business Briefing
After Hours
Press Releases
 
Free Newsletters
Top CIO News
 
Mobile Tech Today
 

Data Security

New Java Security Warning System Criticized as Confusing

New Java Security Warning System Criticized as Confusing
April 18, 2013 1:24PM

Bookmark and Share
Security analyst Paul Ducklin is not thrilled with the numerous combinations of alerts and warnings that now pop up with Oracle's Java security update. "Logo and shield. Triangle and shield. Shield alone. Triangle alone. Confused yet? You're forgiven if you are, because these dialogs end up asking the very questions that you might reasonably expect Java to answer."

Neustar, Inc. (NYSE: NSR) is a trusted, neutral provider of real-time information and analysis to the Internet, telecommunications, information services, financial services, retail, media and advertising sectors. Neustar applies its advanced, secure technologies in location, identification, and evaluation to help its customers promote and protect their businesses. More information is available at www.neustar.biz.

Oracle on Wednesday issued a critical patch update for Java SE. The bulletin offers 42 new security vulnerability fixes. A whopping 39 of them may be remotely exploitable without user authentication. But this month, it's launch of a new malicious-app warning system that's drawing the most criticism.

Let's review the Java drama, or at least part of it. In just 30 days, Oracle has pushed out three updates to fix critical vulnerabilities in Java -- and the last update was an emergency fix. The company is still working to manage the latest crisis with Java 6.

"This update addresses the vulnerabilities found during the PWN2OWN competition at CanSecWest in Vancouver in March, where Java was exploited by three different security researchers," Wolfgang Kandek, CTO of Qualys, told us. "Oracle also changed the alerts that come up when one runs a Java applet, introducing distinct states giving overall more information on the nature of the applet. The new versions are update 21 for Java version 7 and update 45 for Java version 6."

Warnings About Java Applets

But the update is mostly the same old, same old. What's new is the way the Java browser plug-in behaves. The Java 7 Update 21 changes the plug-in behavior that is supposed to help you make more informed choices before running the Java applet in the browser.

Here's how it works: a security prompt asks for a confirmation before allowing Java content to run in the browser. Oracle said the messages presented depends upon different risk factors, such as using old versions of Java or running applet code that is not signed from a trusted Certificate Authority.

"Apps that present a lower risk display a simple informational message," Oracle said in its Java blog. "This includes an option to prevent showing similar messages for apps from the same publisher in the future."

Java ran through several scenarios of the types of messages -- which include various icons and color coding to explain the risks -- that users may receive and what they mean in practice. Oracle offers screen shots of each scenario, and there are many different possibilities that could appear.

A Confusing Update

Paul Ducklin, a senior security analyst at Sophos, isn't thrilled with the update. He pointed to the numerous combinations of alerts and warnings and said that although Oracle has offered careful explanations of each one, the security ball remains very much in the users' court.

"Logo and shield. Triangle and shield. Shield alone. Triangle alone. Confused yet? You're forgiven if you are, because these dialogs end up asking the very questions that you might reasonably expect Java to answer," Ducklin wrote in a blog post.

"Many users will therefore understandably be tempted to rely on the "Do not show this again" option to deal with these alerts. A better solution, unless you need Java in your browser, and know you need it, is simply to turn it off."

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:



 Data Security
1. Lessons from Verizon's Threat Report
2. Verizon Report Exposes Cyberthreats
3. Heartbleed Exploit Could Cost Millions
4. Michaels: Nearly 3M Cards Breached
5. Malware Targets Facebook Users




 Most Popular Articles
1. BlackBerry Drops T-Mobile After Nasty Spat
2. Cisco, IBM Launch Internet of Things Consortium
3. Salesforce CRM Gets Industry Specific for Internet of Customers
4. Intel Bets on Cloudera for Big Data Analytics
5. SAP HANA Data Warehouse App Gets Faster Analytics

Have an informed opinion on this story?
Send a Letter to the Editor.
We want to know what you think.
Send us your Feedback.

 Related Topics  Latest News & Special Reports

  Google Maps, Now with Time Travel
  Lessons from Verizon's Threat Report
  NYPD Twitter Campaign Backfires
  Net Gets Faster, But Easier to Attack
  OnePlus One Boasts Android Weapon

 Technology Marketplace
Business Intelligence
Get real-time, cloud-based information services with Neustar.
 
Cloud Computing
Next Generation Data Center Is Here! Vblock™ Systems from VCE
 
Contact Centers
HP delivers the future of the contact center with HP Qfiniti 10.
 
Data Storage
Next Generation Data Center Is Here! Vblock™ Systems from VCE
Barium Ferrite (BaFe) is the future of tape.
2.5" Enterprise-class SATA & SAS SSDs for server & storage applications
 
Enterprise Hardware
Barium Ferrite (BaFe) is the future of tape.
2.5" Enterprise-class SATA & SAS SSDs for server & storage applications
 
Hardware
Protect your network with APC Smart-UPS battery backup
 
Network Security
Protect your network with APC Smart-UPS battery backup
 

Network Security Spotlight
What Verizon's Data Breach Report Can Teach Enterprises
It’s probably not a jaw-dropper, but cyberespionage is officially on the rise. And the use of stolen or misused credentials is still the leading way the bad guys gain access to corporate information.
 
Top Cyberthreats Exposed by Verizon Report
Beyond Heartbleed, there are cyberthreats vying to take down enterprise networks, corrupt smartphones, and wreak havoc on businesses. Verizon is exposing these threats in a new report.
 
Where Do Web Sites Stand, Post-Heartbleed?
A security firm says the vast majority of Web sites have patched themselves to protect against the Heartbleed bug, but now there are questions raised on the reliability of open-source programs.
 
Navigation
CIO Today
Home/Top News | Enterprise Software | Enterprise Hardware | Big Data | Network Security | Cloud Computing | CRM Systems
Data Storage | Operating Systems | Communications | CIO Issues | Mobile Tech | Chips & Processors | World Wide Web
Business Briefing | After Hours | Press Releases
Also visit these Enterprise Technology Sites
Top Tech News | CIO Today | Mobile Tech Today | Data Storage Today

Services:
FreeNewsFeed | Free Newsletters | XML/RSS Feed

About CIO Today Network | How To Contact Us | Article Reprints | Services for PR Pros (In partnership with NewsFactor) | Top Tech Wire | How To Advertise

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
© Copyright 2000-2014 CIO Today. All rights reserved. Article rating technology by Blogowogo. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.