US puts Oracle on 20 year leash over ‘deceptive’ Java security claims

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has approved an order that binds Oracle to being truthful with consumers about the security of updates for its widely-installed Java SE software.

The approved order follows a proposed settlement between Oracle and the regulator in December over allegations the tech giant claimed that updating Java SE would make a PC secure when it didn’t because older, vulnerable versions would still be installed.

All four FTC commissioners on Tuesday voted in favour of the proposed settlement.

The FTC said in December that Oracle must ensure its statements about security updates are true given that Java SE is installed on about 850 million PCs and the fact Oracle knew since acquiring it in 2010 it was a prime target for hackers due to old flaws. Oracle regularly patches critical flaws in Java SE and if older versions remain on systems, they could be exploited by hackers.

Oracle now has 10 days to tell consumers when they update Java SE if outdated versions are still installed. It will need to inform them of the risk of outdated versions and provide an tool to uninstall older versions from Java SE 1.4.2 up to the version released in the most recent quarter.

The company will also be required to broadcast via social media, its website and several third-party security products “important information regarding the security of Java SE”, linking to a letter proposed by the FTC but from Oracle that explains the lawsuit.

A portion of the letter reads: “The FTC alleged that, in the past, when you installed or updated Java SE, it didn’t replace the version already on your computer. Instead, each version installed side-by-side at the same time. Later, after we changed this, installing or updating Java SE removed only the most recent version already on your computer. What’s more, in many cases, it didn’t remove any version released before October 2008.”

Oracle must ensure the security notification is available for next two years.

Additionally, for the next five years Oracle will be obliged to provide upon request by the FTC all documents relating to compliance with the order.

Read more: Unpatched OS use declines in Australia but out-of-life Java, Flash persist

Oracle is bound by the order until March 28, 2036, or 20 years from the date of any complaint the FTC makes against Oracle for violating the order, whichever comes later.

Take this 5 minute survey on The State of Cloud Storage & Collaboration 2016 and go in the draw to win a $500 Visa credit card.Start Survey NOW

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags hackersPCftcjava securityjavalawsuitOraclesecure computingUnited StatesFederal Trade Commission

More about Federal Trade CommissionFTCOracleUS Federal Trade CommissionVisa

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by Liam Tung

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    IDG Live Webinar:The right collaboration strategy will help your business take flight

    Speakers - Mike Harris, Engineering Services Manager, Jetstar - Christopher Johnson, IT Director APAC, 20th Century Fox - Brent Maxwell, Director of Information Systems, THE ICONIC - IDG MC/Moderator Anthony Caruana

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts