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Java security problems: Is disabling Java the answer?
This article is part of the Information Security magazine issue of October 2012
Vulnerability management is a time consuming, complex process and the recent onslaught of attacks on Java hasn't made it any easier. To recap: In August, security researchers reported that attackers were actively exploiting zero-day vulnerabilities in Java. Oracle – not always the quickest on the draw when it comes to fixing flaws – actually released a patch pretty fast only to have security researchers uncover holes in it. All the Java security problems – and a growing track record of security snafus with the popular programming language -- led to calls from a number of security experts to disable Java. Tod Beardsley, Metasploit engineering manager at Rapid7, says that's simply sound advice. "For the Java browser plug-ins, users should disable Java. Unlike Flash, HTML5 or even PDF, it's not ubiquitous technology on the Web…Disabling unnecessary functionality is always good advice – doing so reduces your attack surface," he says. In the enterprise, however, shutting off Java is easier said than done. A number of common business ...
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Features in this issue
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Security researchers are finding more malware that attacks multiple operating systems.
Columns in this issue
Companies are under pressure to take advantage of big data analytics but they should be aware of the risks.
Unless security is viewed as a core function instead of an add-on, we're bound to repeat the mistakes of the past.
In the wake of recent exploits, experts recommend disabling the programming language but that can be tricky in the enterprise.