There is yet another Zero Day vulnerability in Java 7 that hackers are using in some targeted attacks right now.

The vulnerability works against Internet Explorer and Firefox and researchers said attackers are now exploiting and installing a version of the Poison Ivy RAT on compromised systems.

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The targeted attacks are using an exploit from a site hosted in China, which is still up and running. Once the exploit fires, the attack will install a dropper on the compromised PC called Dropper.MsPMs, which will then call out to another IP address on the same domain as the one serving the exploit.

“The dropper executable is located on the same server: Dropper.MsPMs further talks to its own CnC domain which is currently resolving to an IP address located in Singapore,” said Atif Mushtaq at security provider FireEye.

Schneider Bold

The vulnerability is present in Java 7 and doesn’t affect earlier versions, researchers said. There is proof-of-concept exploit code circulating for the bug, and there is also a Metasploit module that exploits the flaw. Researchers said their exploit works against a fully patched Windows 7 machine with Java 7 update 6 running. Their exploit also works against IE and Firefox on Windows Vista and XP and also against Chrome on Windows XP and Firefox on Ubuntu Linux 10.04.

Researchers at DeepEnd Research who looked at the vulnerability said there is little indication of a successful exploit of this vulnerability.

“It does not crash browsers, the landing page looks like a blank page, sometimes one may see a flash of a rotating Java logo and the word ‘Loading’,” said Andre’ M. DiMino and Mila Parkour.

The massive installed base of Java makes this vulnerability a particularly serious one, as any Java Zero Day is, but the other factor in the mix is Oracle uses a scheduled quarterly patch cycle, and the next one isn’t until mid-October. Unless the company issues an emergency patch, which is does rarely, the vulnerability will be fair game for attackers for nearly two months.

There is a third-party patch available for the vulnerability, available by request only from the folks at DeepEnd. In order to get the patch, organizations need to explain their need for it.

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