Linked by David Adams on Tue 12th Jul 2011 19:08 UTC, submitted by HAL2001
Privacy, Security, Encryption ACROS Security has discovered a vulnerability in Sun Java, which can be exploited by malicious people to compromise a user's system. The vulnerability is caused due to the application loading an executable file in an insecure manner when an out of memory condition occurs.
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RE[4]: Nice
by Neolander on Wed 13th Jul 2011 07:51 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Nice"
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May I try ?

Java is an interpreter, and current OS security models are not designed to explicitly support interpreters. For the OS, an interpreter is just a black box executing arbitrary code from the wild.

What this means in turn is that Java may only run code as privileged as the Java interpreter is. So the Java interpreter must run with privileges that are as high as possible. No true OS-level sandboxing is possible.

Which means that the JRE is a huge mass of code (basically reinventing the system API for the sake of portability) running in a highly permissive security environment, without DEP/NX protection. As lots of code is statistically synonymous of lots of bugs/exploits, this is a disaster waiting to happen.

(Of course, if good OS-level support for interpreters was provided one day, the extreme case being an interpreted OS like Singularity, this argument would be void. Also, this is less of a problem for interpreters which maximize use of the system API instead of re-implementing everything, like C#/.Net on Windows)

(EDIT : And you'll probably say that we don't even use sandboxing for normal user apps currently, making even freecell.exe able to wipe the user's home if exploited. Current desktop security sucks really badly. But to the best of my knowledge, all current OSs have some form of support for apps that voluntarily sandbox themselves, which is probably what you'll want to use on your mission critical computer.)

Edited 2011-07-13 08:02 UTC

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