Oracle Updates Java 7 to Address Security Vulnerability
On Friday, we noted that Apple had taken the rare step of using its anti-malware tools in OS X to disable existing installations of the Java 7 browser plug-in due to a major security vulnerability that was being actively exploited in the wild. Apple's anti-malware system is capable of enforcing minimum version numbers for plug-ins such as Java and Flash, and Apple simply updated its blacklist information to require that machines be running a higher version of the Java 7 plug-in than was publicly available.
Oracle has now released Java 7 Update 11, and the release notes indicate that it does indeed address the vulnerability. The new release registers with a version string of 1.7.0_11-b21, satisfying Apple's requirement for a minimum version number of 1.7.0_10-b19.
In addition to the fix for the vulnerability, Java 7 Update 11 also sees a change in the default security level setting from "Medium" to "High". Under the new setting, users will be warned before the Java plug-in runs any unsigned application.
The default security level for Java applets and web start applications has been increased from "Medium" to "High". This affects the conditions under which unsigned (sandboxed) Java web applications can run. Previously, as long as you had the latest secure Java release installed applets and web start applications would continue to run as always. With the "High" setting the user is always warned before any unsigned application is run to prevent silent exploitation.