Oracle Takes Action on Java Security

Jun 03, 2013

Lead Java developer vows policy changes and more attention to fixing problems.

Java has spent considerable time in the headlines recently because of a string of significant security issues, many of them affecting web servers and other Internet-based web applications. Oracle, which has owned and maintained Java since purchasing Sun Microsystems in 2009, publicly addressed those issues in a blog post announcing several policy changes regarding future Java development and updates. In a post at the Oracle Security Assurance blog, lead Java developer Nandini Ramani outlined the changes.   
 
The first change described in the post is an effort to speed up security fixes and updates. Recent patch updates have included a record number of fixes, and Oracle pledges to continue operating at this accelerated rate. In a move that might be controversial with Java's user and developer base, the team is integrating the Java security update schedule with the Oracle Critical Patch Update system used for other Oracle products. In other words, Java security updates will no longer be handled as a separate process but will fall under the overall Oracle security update system. This move will undoubtedly reduce Java's independence, but it might lead to the inclusion of more systematic security testing.  
 
The company is also planning to work on "addressing the limitations of the existing Java in browser trust/security model." Changes will give the end user and system administrator more control over the security environment. Additional changes include modifications to signed applet policies and default plug-in security.

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