Oracle issued an out-of-box emergency patch for Java software running on Windows systems that fixes a critical vulnerability coded as CVE-2016-0603. The vulnerability could be exploited by an attacker to trick users into visiting a malicious website and downloading files on the target system before installing Java 6, 7 or 8.
Oracle hasn’t provided much information on the vulnerability, the flaw has received a CVSS Base Score of 7.6.
What We Need to Know About the Java Exploit :
“Oracle just released Security Alert CVE-2016-0603 to address a vulnerability that can be exploited when installing Java 6, 7 or 8 on the Windows platform. This vulnerability has received a CVSS Base Score of 7.6.” states the security advisory published by Oracle.
How Java Exploit works :
“To be successfully exploited, this vulnerability requires that an unsuspecting user be tricked into visiting a malicious web site and download files to the user’s system before installing Java 6, 7 or 8. Though considered relatively complex to exploit, this vulnerability may result, if successfully exploited, in a complete compromise of the unsuspecting user’s system.
As explained by Oracle, the successful exploitation of the CVE-2016-0603 flaw could result in “complete compromise” of the target machine.
The user is exposed to the attack only during the Java installation phase, for this reason, they have no need to upgrade existing Java installation, but that take care if are managing old version of Java prior to 6u113, 7u97 or 8u73 and are installing them. In this last scenario, they have to download the latest Java releases 6u113, 7u97 or 8u73 or later.
Below the list of affected product releases:
How to Patch Now
“Because the exposure exists only during the installation process, users need not upgrade existing Java installations to address the vulnerability. However, Java users who have downloaded any old version of Java prior to 6u113, 7u97 or 8u73, should discard these old downloads and replace them with 6u113, 7u97 or 8u73 or later.” continues the post.
Oracle recommends users to ensure that they are running the most recent version of Java SE and that all older releases of the software have been completely removed. Oracle further advises against downloading Java from sites other than Java.com as these sites may be malicious.
Another suggestion is to download Java software only from the official Java.com website to avoid ugly surprises.