Oracle’s head of Java security has promised that the vendor will “fix” issues with the widely used programming language, as well as improve its outreach efforts to community members, following a spate of high-profile vulnerabilities and public slammings.
“The plan for Java security is really simple,” said Milton Smith, Java Security Lead, Oracle, during a conference call this week with Java user group leaders. “It’s to get Java fixed up, number one, and then, number two, to communicate our efforts widely. We really can’t have one without the other. No amount of talking or smoothing over is going to make anybody happy. We have to fix Java.”
Oracle has been coming under fire recently from experts over what they say is an inability to properly patch vulnerabilities in Java.
Recently, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security even urged users to disable Java in their browsers. Most Java vulnerabilities of late have been at the browser level, according to Smith. “That’s really the biggest target now.”
Oracle, which gained control of Java through the acquisition of Sun Microsystems, has often been criticised for being tight-lipped in its public communications. But that label won’t be fairly applied to the company’s Java team moving forward, Smith said during the call, a recording of which was made publicly available through Oracle’s website on Friday.
Smith and his peers “have a lot of things that we’re looking at” with respect to communication, he said. One particular goal is to make sure Oracle is reaching all audiences, from consumer users through IT professionals running data centres to engineers, he said.
Exactly how this will be done hasn’t been decided as of yet, but it could include more speeches at tech conferences as well as talking to the press, according to Smith.
Another possibility would be for Oracle to provide updates on security to Java user group leaders, who would then be able to share information with their members, he said.
Smith repeatedly underscored the importance of outreach to Oracle’s Java security efforts.
For example, Oracle recently made “very significant” security improvements to Java, such as to prevent silent exploits, he said.
“But people don’t understand those features yet,” he said. “They’re still pretty new.”