Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 10th Oct 2012 23:47 UTC, submitted by MOS6510
Java "Java is a programming language that allows developers to write once and deploy everywhere - from high-end gaming desktops to smartphones. Its OS-agnostic and widespread nature is one of its strongest selling points, but one area where it can fall flat is performance. Generally, Java applications are not going to perform as well as native applications written for a specific OS. However, thanks to Project Sumatra that performance gap may soon become less of an issue."
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RE[7]: Security
by Alfman on Thu 11th Oct 2012 16:43 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Security"
Alfman
Member since:
2011-01-28

kwan_e,

"What if the JVM is connected and authenticated to a database when the malicious program gets control. A malicious program can use JDBC to get sensitive information from that database without needing to go native."

Can you elaborate the specifics of where this malicious program came from? The reason I ask is because we need to ask whether the same attack vector is significantly more likely to happen in java than a non-java program.

Did the administrator unknowingly install the malicious program in the first place? Did he install a trusted program that contains a remotely exploitable application vulnerability, which enables a remote attacker to install & execute the malicious instructions? Does the compiler contain a bug that can be exploited remotely execute malicious instructions?

All these things are possible, but ask yourself if Java is inherently less secure than other languages for running local programs. Escaping java's sandbox is bad, but are there any instances where using Java is worse for security than using another languages like C, which doesn't have any sandbox whatsoever? Is there something specific you think I'm overlooking?

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[8]: Security
by kwan_e on Thu 11th Oct 2012 16:59 in reply to "RE[7]: Security"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

All these things are possible, but ask yourself if Java is inherently less secure than other languages for running local programs. Escaping java's sandbox is bad, but are there any instances where using Java is worse for security than using another languages like C, which doesn't have any sandbox whatsoever? Is there something specific you think I'm overlooking?


I would think that having a portable malicious program is a completely different kind of worse. Java (but you can probably say the same for other cross platform VMs) runs almost the same on any platform, basically amounting to a monoculture. Whereas a C program would be hard pressed to work exactly as designed even for POSIX compliant operating systems, let alone in a realistic environment where there's a mix of different server operating systems.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[9]: Security
by Alfman on Thu 11th Oct 2012 18:04 in reply to "RE[8]: Security"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

kwan_e,

"Java (but you can probably say the same for other cross platform VMs) runs almost the same on any platform, basically amounting to a monoculture."

Oh ok...yeah I guess monocultures can be bad for security, competing implementations and variety can help limit the scope of a given attack. The same should be said for operating systems, applications, hardware vendors, etc.

We do have some choice in JVM's today. If I were to guess, the Java diversification is probably somewhere between PHP (few competing implementations) and Javascript (many competing implementations). Who knows if we should count android or not, it is a Java language implementation after all, even if its files are not binary compatible.

Reply Parent Score: 2