Experts worry over Oracle’s security track record

Security experts are expressing doubt over Oracle Corp.’s ability to keep users of its software safe from attacks as the company struggles to produce one patch after the other for its highly popular but very vulnerable Java software.

The company appears to be willing to fix the flaws in Java but the question seems be whether Oracle is capable of doing so, according to Paul Ducklin, head of technology for Asia Pacific at security firm Sophos Ltd.

Early last month, the United States Department of Homeland Security urged computer administrators and users to disable Java plug-ins in the browsers due to a major vulnerability in the software. Shortly after, Oracle issued an emergency security update to Java 7 but the move failed to patch two new vulnerabilities which would allow attackers to execute arbitrary code on computers using the software.


Java patch problems remain
Oracle no longer as bastion of securityHowever, for the past three years the software has been poorly maintained and has had at least 90 security vulnerabilities of medium to high severity, according to a federal database that tracks IT security issues.

Failing to correct Java flaws can pose serious consequences for many users even if the software is only occasionally needed for browsing Web sites, according to a report from

For example, many business businesses depend on Java for processing their payroll. Flaws in the software could attackers the opening they need to commit crimes such as data theft or online extortion.
Sun Microsystems developed Java in the 1990s and was acquired by Oracle when it bought Sun in 2009. The software was designed to make it easy for other programs to run computers and Web sites. The software is used in computer games, applications for calculating mortgages and stock trades as well as viewing 3D images among other things.
Java runs on several billion devices worldwide, including computers, mobile phones, televisions, medical devices, parking lot stations, and mobile vehicle navigation systems.
Many flaws of Java may stem from some security experts spending more time inspecting the software, according to Will Dorman, a Carnegie Mello researcher who wrote the warning for the U.S. government. He said Java is not the only software he had recommended for disabling. For example, Dorman gave a similar advice in December for Macromedia Shockwave Player.

The federal database listing software vulnerabilities also cited flaws in software from Cisco, Hewlett-Packard, Apple, Google, Adobe Systems and Mozilla.

Read the whole story here




Would you recommend this article?


Thanks for taking the time to let us know what you think of this article!
We'd love to hear your opinion about this or any other story you read in our publication.

Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

Featured Download

Featured Articles

Empowering the hybrid workforce: how technology can build a better employee experience

Across the country, employees from organizations of all sizes expect flexibility...

What’s behind the best customer experience: How to make it real for your business

The best customer experience – the kind that builds businesses and...

Overcoming the obstacles to optimized operations

Network-driven optimization is a top priority for many Canadian business leaders...

Thriving amid Canada’s tech talent shortage

With today’s tight labour market, rising customer demands, fast-evolving cyber threats...

Staying protected and compliant in an evolving IT landscape

Canadian businesses have changed remarkably and quickly over the last few...

Related Tech News

Tech Jobs

Our experienced team of journalists and bloggers bring you engaging in-depth interviews, videos and content targeted to IT professionals and line-of-business executives.

Tech Companies Hiring Right Now