Note: This is an archival copy of Security Sun Alert 244989 as previously published on http://sunsolve.sun.com.|
Latest version of this security advisory is available from http://support.oracle.com as Sun Alert 1019739.1.
Date of Resolved Release
The Java Runtime Environment (JRE) "Java Update" Mechanism Does Not Check the Digital Signature of the JRE that it Downloads
The Java Runtime Environment (JRE) "Java Update" mechanism does not check the digital signature of the JRE that it downloads. This may allow a malicious file to be downloaded and installed if the DNS information that the JRE uses when checking for updates is compromised.
Sun acknowledges with thanks, Francisco Amato for bringing this issue to our attention.
2. Contributing Factors
This issue can occur in the following Java SE releases (for the Windows 32-bit release only):
1. SDK and JRE 1.3.x is not affected.
2. The "Java Update" feature is available only on the Windows 32-bit platform. The Windows 64-bit, Solaris and Linux platforms are not affected by this issue.
To determine the default version of the JRE that Internet Explorer uses:
To determine the default version of the JRE that Mozilla or Firefox browsers use, visit the URL "about:plugins".
The browser will display a page called "Installed plug-ins" which lists the version of the Java Plug-in as in the following example:
Java(TM) Plug-in 1.5.0_11-b03
(Indicating that the JRE version the browser uses is 1.5.0_11).
There are no predictable symptoms that would indicate the described issue has been exploited.
For the affected releases mentioned above, the "Automatic Update" feature of the "Java Update" mechanism can be disabled as a workaround. To disable "Automatic Update":
1. Click "Start" -> "Settings" -> "Control Panel"Note: The "Update" tab may not be available if your network administrator has disabled the "Java Update" feature during installation
2. Double-click the "Java" icon. The "Java Control Panel" appears
3. Click the "Update" tab
4. To disable "Java Update" to automatically check for updates, un-select the "Check for Updates Automatically" check box (if checked).
Alternatively, see the Resolution section below.
This issue is addressed in the following Java SE releases (for Windows 32-bit):
Java SE releases are available at:
JDK 6 Update 11:
JRE 6 Update 11:
and through the Java Update tool for Microsoft Windows users.
Java SE releases SDK and JRE 1.4.2 have completed the Sun End of Service Life (EOSL) process. Sun recommends that users upgrade to the latest Java SE release. Customers interested in continuing to receive critical fixes on SDK and JRE 1.4.2 are encouraged to migrate to Java SE for Business.
For more information on Security Sun Alerts, see 1009886.1.
Copyright 2000-2008 Sun Microsystems, Inc., 4150 Network Circle, Santa Clara, CA 95054 U.S.A. All rights reserved.
Sun Java Standard Edition (Java SE)
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