Three of the Java vulnerabilities patched Tuesday have the maximum severity score of 10 in the Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS), which means that they can be exploited over the network without authentication and can lead to a full compromise of the system's confidentiality and integrity.
Twelve of the flaws affect the Java client, meaning they can potentially be exploited from the Web through the Java browser plug-in. One of them also affects Java server deployments and the remaining two affect the client and server deployments of the Java Secure Socket Extension (JSSE).
In order to address these vulnerabilities Oracle released Java 8 update 45 (Java 8u45), Java 7u79, Java 6u95 and Java 5u85. The Java 6 and 5 updates are only available to customers with long-term Java support contracts.
With this latest release, Java 7 has also reached end of life for public updates, so future security patches for this version of Java will also be available only to customers with special support contracts. Users who have automatic updates enabled in Java 7 have been prompted to upgrade to Java 8 since January.
The end of free Java 7 security patches is "huge news," according to John Matthew Holt, chief technology officer at application security firm Waratek, who believes that it will cause "enormous headache and disruption to millions of application owners around the world."
"Oracle's rapid end of life schedule for Java versions is great for innovation and language evolution," Holt said via email. "However, there is a dangerous tradeoff: now millions of Java 7 applications will have to defend themselves against code level vulnerabilities without the benefit of future fixes."
Aside from Java, as part of its April 2015 Critical Patch Update, Oracle fixed security flaws in the Oracle Database, Oracle Fusion Middleware, Oracle Hyperion, Oracle Enterprise Manager, Oracle E-Business Suite, Oracle Supply Chain Suite, Oracle PeopleSoft Enterprise, Oracle JDEdwards EnterpriseOne, Oracle Siebel CRM, Oracle Industry Applications, Oracle Java SE, Oracle Sun Systems Products Suite, Oracle MySQL and Oracle Support Tools.