Oracle pushes patch for Java vulnerability after exploit reports surface

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Oracle on Monday shipped another update to its widely deployed Java software to close two vulnerabilities, one of which is being used by attackers in active exploits.

The update for Java SE 5, 6 and 7 running in web browsers addresses a pair of flaws – CVE-2013-0809 and CVE-2013-1493. The latter bug is being actively leveraged in attacks to spread the McRAT executable, researchers from network security company FireEye revealed Thursday.

Oracle apparently was able to distribute a fix so quickly because it actually learned of this vulnerability on Feb. 1, but wasn't able to include a patch in the Feb. 19 update to Java. So, it had planned to plug the hole in its next scheduled Java update, set for April 16, but given the exploit reports, it rushed a patch for the vulnerability, as well as a "closely related bug," as part of an out-of-band update, Eric Maurice, director of Oracle software security assurance, wrote in a blog post Monday.

Both vulnerabilities were assigned 10.0 scores on the Common Vulnerability Scoring System, the highest mark.

Maurice added that Oracle recently changed Java's security settings to "high" by default, meaning users are now prompted whether to install an applet that is unsigned or self-signed.

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