Sun plugs Java Web Start, Solaris holes

Bill Brenner

Sun Microsystems recommends Java Web Start and Solaris users apply updates that plug security holes attackers could exploit to tamper with local files, gain elevated privileges or launch malicious code.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company said the problem with Java Web Start

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is that it "may allow an untrusted application the ability to elevate its privileges. As a result, an application may grant itself permissions to read and write local files or execute local applications that are accessible to the user running the Java Web Start application."

This vulnerability affects Java Web Start in J2SE releases 1.4.2_06 and earlier for Windows, Solaris and Linux. Java Web Start in J2SE 5.0 and later and J2SE releases prior to 1.4.2 for Windows, Solaris and Linux are not affected. Java Web Start 1.0.1_02 and earlier are also not affected.

Sun said there are no reliable symptoms to indicate the security hole is being exploited on vulnerable machines.

The company has fixed the problem in J2SE 1.4.2_07 or later for Windows, Solaris and Linux.

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Meanwhile, Sun has patched a buffer overflow vulnerability in newgrp(1) attackers could use to target systems running Solaris 7, 8 or 9.

"A buffer overflow in newgrp(1) may allow a local unprivileged user the ability to gain root privileges," Sun's advisory said.

Danish security firm Secunia said in its advisory that, "The flaw is due to an unspecified boundary error in the newgrp utility and can be exploited to cause a buffer overflow. Successful exploitation allows execution of arbitrary code with root privileges."

The glitch affects Solaris 7, 8 and 9 on the SPARC and x86 platforms.

Like the Java Web Start vulnerability, there are no predictable symptoms to indicate when this problem is being exploited, Sun said.

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