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Thread: Homeland Security recommends disabling Java

  1. #1
    Queen of the Realm Ambrosia's Avatar
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    Homeland Security recommends disabling Java

    The Department of Homeland Security has recommended citizens disable Java due to a security bug.


    I haven't heard them recommend such a thing before regarding software bugs. It seems odd to me. Anyone else?
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  2. #2
    Come on you stranger, you legend, Devil Ledbetter's Avatar
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    It looks legit enough that we've disabled Java on all our rigs. Oracle doesn't have a patch for this. I'm really surprised there isn't more buzz about it, since it's on all the major news sources.
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    Learning the craft Paperback Writer's Avatar
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    I'm not sure what the vulnerability is about, but here is how to disable java

    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2414191,00.asp

  4. #4
    Cultus Gopherus MacAllister SuperModerator Medievalist's Avatar
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    They're about three months behind Apple and Microsoft.

    Don't confuse Java, used to run applications in a Web browser, with JavaScript. JavaScript is OK.

    Keep in mind that if you use Star Chat to chat, you'll need to re-enable Java before you can use it or other Java applets.

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  5. #5
    a demon for tea EMaree's Avatar
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    Oracle have seriously dropped the ball these last few months.
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    Learning the craft Paperback Writer's Avatar
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    From what I read apparently this is just one of many vulnerabilities in java. Disabling is a must now.
    Last edited by Paperback Writer; 01-13-2013 at 02:42 AM.

  7. #7
    Learning the craft Paperback Writer's Avatar
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    I checked my Windows 7 Firefox and it was already disabled thankfully. I went ahead and disabled the entire plugin just in case. The plugin was missing on my Mint laptop too.

    https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/blocked/p182

    Java Plugin 7 update 10 and lower (click-to-play), Windows has been blocked for your protection.

    Why was it blocked?The Java plugin is causing significant security problems. All users are strongly recommended to keep the plugin disabled unless necessary.Who is affected?All users who have these versions of the plugin installed in Firefox 17 and above.What does this mean? The problematic add-on or plugin will be automatically disabled and no longer usable.

  8. #8
    Queen of the Realm Ambrosia's Avatar
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    Which is all good and fine, but since when does Homeland Security start issuing such warnings? That is what seems odd to me.
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  9. #9
    In Time-Out For My Sins
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    Does this apply everywhere or just in America?

  10. #10
    Learning the craft Paperback Writer's Avatar
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    Everywhere, the software is the same.

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    In Time-Out For My Sins
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    Odd that it's not been publicised over here then.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by mirandashell View Post
    Odd that it's not been publicised over here then.
    Why would your tabloid reporters publicize something when doing so would make it harder for them to hack into people's computers?
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  13. #13
    In Time-Out For My Sins
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    Well... yeah. There is that! LOL!

  14. #14
    a demon for tea EMaree's Avatar
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    The Guardian covered it back in August. (The BBC, oddly, seems to have avoided any mention of it.)
    Last edited by EMaree; 01-13-2013 at 04:32 AM.
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    Cultus Gopherus MacAllister SuperModerator Medievalist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ambrosia View Post
    Which is all good and fine, but since when does Homeland Security start issuing such warnings? That is what seems odd to me.
    After they got affected by the hole, I expect.

    A number of the IT lists I'm on started coverage of this in May.

    There were problems with large deployments at some schools even before that, especially on Windows but on OS X too.

    The updates and variations started confusing even professionals.

    The army started issuing cautions about deploying jave apps even before that, as did Apple.

    They are again, like TSA theater, going about it wrong.

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    Anyone know how long this is going to last?
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  17. #17
    the philosophical pegasus Shadow Dragon's Avatar
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    Oracle says they will fix the problem "shortly."
    Oracle Corp said it is preparing an update to address a flaw in its widely used Java software after the U.S. Department of Homeland Security urged computer users to disable the program in web browsers because criminal hackers are exploiting a security bug to attack PCs.

    "A fix will be available shortly," the company said in a statement released late on Friday.

    Company officials could not be reached on Saturday to say how quickly the update would be available for the hundreds of millions of PCs that have Java installed.

    The Department of Homeland Security and computer security experts said on Thursday that hackers figured out how to exploit the bug in a version of Java used with Internet browsers to install malicious software on PCs. That has enabled them to commit crimes from identity theft to making an infected computer part of an ad-hoc computer network that can be used to attack websites.
    http://www.chicagotribune.com/busine...,5437237.story
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  18. #18
    Queen of the Realm Ambrosia's Avatar
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    Thanks, Medi.

    Shadow Dragon, thanks for the Chicago Tribune's article.

    making an infected computer part of an ad-hoc computer network that can be used to attack websites.
    Using the bug to commandeer individual computers to make a network to attack websites brings the scope up to the point I see the reason for Homeland Security to get involved. I couldn't see their reasoning before now.
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    “Keep me away from the wisdom which does not cry, the philosophy which does not laugh and the greatness which does not bow before children.” –Khalil Gibran
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  19. #19
    Dull Old Person Flicka's Avatar
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    The Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency has recommended it too, so it's not just the American government.
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  21. #21
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    I don't know; the comments are kind of pessimistic about the patch. I never realized just how much of my web experience was made possible and/or easier by Java until I shut it off for Firefox.* (I have Java 6.something on my hard drive, so my IE is all right-ish.) I desperately want to turn Java back on, but I want to know if it's worth it. *For one thing the freaking smiley menu won't open. For another thing, my post is formatting weirdly.
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  22. #22
    Cultus Gopherus MacAllister SuperModerator Medievalist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZ_Dawn View Post
    I don't know; the comments are kind of pessimistic about the patch. I never realized just how much of my web experience was made possible and/or easier by Java until I shut it off for Firefox.* (I have Java 6.something on my hard drive, so my IE is all right-ish.) I desperately want to turn Java back on, but I want to know if it's worth it. *For one thing the freaking smiley menu won't open. For another thing, my post is formatting weirdly.
    You've confused Java with JavaScript.

    JavaScript is used by more than half the Web sites on the 'net. Including this one; that's why your're having trouble formatting and using pop-up menus. If you clicked a clicky box in your Web browser, you've turned off Java Script, not Java.

    Java is a plug-in or binary add on. On Windows systems it may be called JRE or Jave Runtime Environment.

    Here's how to remove Java on Windows.

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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Medievalist View Post
    You've confused Java with JavaScript.

    JavaScript is used by more than half the Web sites on the 'net. Including this one; that's why your're having trouble formatting and using pop-up menus. If you clicked a clicky box in your Web browser, you've turned off Java Script, not Java.
    Java Script was turned off in Firefox! Thanks for the tip.
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  24. #24
    we are the words 'i love you' kuwisdelu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZ_Dawn View Post
    Java Script was turned off in Firefox! Thanks for the tip.
    They're totally different things.

    Some idiot thought it would be a good idea to give them similar-sounding names.
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  25. #25
    Learning the craft Paperback Writer's Avatar
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    At this point I would just leave it disabled, and turn it on on an as needed basis. Oracle will just leave the next security hole unattended for as long as they can as well.

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