Rapid7’s Chief Security Officer, HD Moore, estimated it will take two years for Oracle to fix all of the current issues with Java, not counting anything new that happens in that timeframe.
Futhermore, Kaspersky states that 50% of cyberattacks in 2012 utilized a Java exploit. Among those is the newly discovered Red October.
Think for a minute. Antivirus software is anywhere from 75 to 90% effective. Assuming the worst, that means the simple process of removing Java from your computer does 2/3 as much good as running antivirus software. Of course, you shouldn’t do one or the other; you should do both.
If you have a legitimate need for Java in your web browser, such as commercial intranet applications built with Java, enable Java in one and only one browser, then use that browser solely for accessing those Java-powered web sites.
But the best thing to do is just get rid of Java. And if you have something that uses Java, find something else to use.
It took Microsoft about two weeks to fix a critical vulnerability in Internet Explorer. It took Oracle five months. I never thought I’d say this, but Oracle needs to be more like Microsoft.
Yeah, you can quote me on that if you want.
But until Oracle gets religion on security like Microsoft did around 2002, we really have two choices: Avoid Oracle products whenever practical, or keep getting hacked. I’d rather you not choose the latter option.
David Farquhar is a computer security professional, entrepreneur, and author. He started his career as a part-time computer technician in 1994, worked his way up to system administrator by 1997, and has specialized in vulnerability management since 2013. He invests in real estate on the side and his hobbies include O gauge trains, baseball cards, and retro computers and video games. A University of Missouri graduate, he holds CISSP and Security+ certifications. He lives in St. Louis with his family.