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US Government Tells Computer Users To Disable Java

Saturday, January 12, 2013 - 11:36 AM
From Politico:
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is advising people to temporarily disable the Java software on their computers to avoid potential hacking attacks...  The recommendation came in an advisory issued late Thursday, following up on concerns raised by computer security experts.

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8
pearlbrownpearlbrown1,433 posts since
Nov 2, 2010
Rep Points: 6,251
1. Saturday, January 12, 2013 - 2:17 PM
Here's a link to information on how to disable Java:

www.java.com/en/download/help/disable_browser.xml

Also, it's important to understand that Java is totally different than JavaScript. So there's no need to disable JavaScript.
5
Ken TuminKen Tumin5,469 posts since
Nov 29, 2009
Rep Points: 125,077
2. Saturday, January 12, 2013 - 3:51 PM
Ken, thank you very much for following up and providing a link to directions on how to disable the software.   

Oracle's instructions for disabling through the Java Control panel did not work for me and my Java Control Panel looked nothing like the one in their illustration.     

Sophos had details on how to remove Java fro...nt browser (the link is for Firefox, at the bottom of the page are links to instructions for other browsers).  I decided to remove Java altogether from my machine and after taking steps to do so, confirmed it by visiting the "Do I have Java?" link (http://java.com. Click "Do I have Java?" Click verify and confirm that it says "No working Java was detected on your system."), which is mentioned in the Sophos article.

For someone who is uncertain whether they have Java installed, that "Do I have Java?" link can resolve any concerns in a fraction of a second. 

Thanks again for looking out for us and pointing your followers to helpful links. 

 
2
pearlbrownpearlbrown1,433 posts since
Nov 2, 2010
Rep Points: 6,251
3. Saturday, January 12, 2013 - 5:33 PM
I have always been told that I need Java for my internet to work properly.  I am very concerned that disabling it will cause more internal problems for my Firefox or IE browsers.  Is it really that important to disable Java??

I just saw the evening news and they had a report about Disabling Java.  I have gone ahead and used what Pearl posted to disable my Java.  Is this something we need to keep disabled or do we reinstall at some point?  Thanks!
1
paoli2paoli21,370 posts since
Aug 10, 2011
Rep Points: 6,005
4. Saturday, January 12, 2013 - 5:52 PM
I passed this warning to my friends yesterday. Ken already explained that Java is NOT JavaScript -- good. DO NOT TURN OFF JavaScript, as your Interneting will cease to function properly. I also note, in particular to Paoli2, no, you do not need Java for your browsing to work fully and fine -- it is JavaScript that you need. JavaScript has no relation to this warning about Java, they are two differnt things. 

Java is mostly obsolete now -- you will be hard pressed to find anyone who is using it on their Website, at least in any manner that makes it so you have to have it operating in your browser. In fact, I personally disabled my Java a few years ago, for these very security reasons they are warning about in this article (that is, this article is NOT the full story behind this warning, as the dangers of Java are notorious and have been known for MANY years. That Homeland Security is suddenly jumping on it is supposed to mean something about a new danger to the US itself, not some individual irritation from a computer hack. But the article says nothing about why Homeland Security has jumped on this). 
4
me1004me1004370 posts since
Jan 16, 2010
Rep Points: 2,572
5. Saturday, January 12, 2013 - 6:03 PM
me1004:  I just followed Pearl's info and went into my Control Panel and disabled what I hope was Java the latest upgrade.  And I checked to see if I had Java and was told I didn't.  All I saw when I checked to find Java in the list were three saying "Java"  with different dates.  I saw nothing that showed I even had something called JavaScript.  Can you advise me how I can check to make sure I did not delete JavaScript in error or where I can find the JavaScript info?  Thanks for any help!
1
paoli2paoli21,370 posts since
Aug 10, 2011
Rep Points: 6,005
6. Saturday, January 12, 2013 - 6:13 PM
Redirect Notice

All you EVER wanted to know about it
3
RicochetRicochet132 posts since
Jan 19, 2010
Rep Points: 362
7. Saturday, January 12, 2013 - 6:59 PM
Can I get one more question answered please.  I did what Pearl posted and asked "Do I have Java?" and it wrote back that there was no Java in my system.  I have both Firefox and Internet Explorer browsers in my system.  I deleted Java from Firefox.  Does this mean it is also deleted from Internet Explorer or do I have to do that seperately?  The IE instructions seem more complicated than Firefox so I hope it's all gone from my system.  I also checked to see if I still had JavaScript from Ricochet's info sent and it was still checked so I guess I am ok with them.  Thanks to everyone for helping me with this.  I am not a computer savvy person and my contract purchased for computer help has expired.
1
paoli2paoli21,370 posts since
Aug 10, 2011
Rep Points: 6,005
8. Saturday, January 12, 2013 - 8:52 PM
I am not computer savvy, either; but my company information states that it is for Java Version 7 only (it is also stated in the information under Ken's link).

Luckily I have real-time company InfoSec support/instructions that I do not have to worry about this type of risks myself.
1
51hh51hh1,476 posts since
Jan 16, 2010
Rep Points: 6,426
9. Saturday, January 12, 2013 - 11:26 PM
Paoli, the quickest and simplest way to disable Java across all your browsers is to disable it through the Java Control Panel (which is inside your Control Panel).  Ken's link, which is to information from Oracle, provides direction on how to do that. 

From your post ("I went into my control panel and disabled what hope was Java the latest upgrade") it sounds like maybe you just deleted it from Firefox.  

You still need to delete it from Internet Explorer.  If you can do through the Java Control Panel, I think you will find it far easier than doing it through the instructions (and links) provided by Sophos. 

Good luck.
1
pearlbrownpearlbrown1,433 posts since
Nov 2, 2010
Rep Points: 6,251
10. Sunday, January 13, 2013 - 12:27 AM
Additional concise and clear info on the Java issue from the KrebsonSecurity blog. 
2
pearlbrownpearlbrown1,433 posts since
Nov 2, 2010
Rep Points: 6,251
11. Sunday, January 13, 2013 - 12:40 AM
From Forbes:
Recently, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced that there is a major security flaw in all versions of Java.  If the announcement is correct, hackers might obtain access to any and all data that resides on an individual’s computer, cell phone, or other device.  It is uncertain whether a hacker might be able to activate a computer’s video camera.  According to some reports by technical publishers, the instructions needed to exploit the security flaw are readily available on the Internet.  Until the security flaw is patched, Homeland Security is advising people to disable Java in any computer or device that accesses the Internet.

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2
pearlbrownpearlbrown1,433 posts since
Nov 2, 2010
Rep Points: 6,251
12. Sunday, January 13, 2013 - 8:13 AM
If one is utilizing Firefox as their browser Java has been already disabled. Click on "Add-ons" and this information can be obtained regarding the Java platform:

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.

When Mozilla becomes aware of add-ons, plugins, or other third-party software that seriously compromises Firefox security, stability, or performance and meets certain criteria, the software may be blocked from general use. For more information, please read this support article. Blocked on October 30, 2012. View block request.
3
ShorebreakShorebreak2,608 posts since
Apr 6, 2010
Rep Points: 14,146
13. Sunday, January 13, 2013 - 8:57 AM
Pearl:  I went to that link you posted to check if I had Java on each browser, Firefox and IE seperately last night.  Both times it came back that there was no Java on the site.  So I guess that means that whatever I did cleared Java from both browsers.  The only problem I had was Ricochet said I should click Reload at bottom of screen to restart and I could not find any Reload on my screen so I just logged out and restarted computer again.  It seems to be working fine and I do hope I am clear of Java on both browsers.  Thanks to all for walking or "carrying" me through this! :)
1
paoli2paoli21,370 posts since
Aug 10, 2011
Rep Points: 6,005
14. Sunday, January 13, 2013 - 8:03 PM
Oracle: Java Fix 'Available Shortly'

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2...TX1K000099
1
ShorebreakShorebreak2,608 posts since
Apr 6, 2010
Rep Points: 14,146
15. Sunday, January 13, 2013 - 9:16 PM
Oracle: Java Fix 'Available Shortly'

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2...TX1K000099

Yes, Java JRE/JDK Version 7 only.

1
51hh51hh1,476 posts since
Jan 16, 2010
Rep Points: 6,426
16. Sunday, January 13, 2013 - 9:49 PM
"The flaw is limited to JDK7. It does not exist in other releases of Java, and does not affect Java applications directly installed and running on servers, desktops, laptops, and other devices. A fix will be available shortly," reads a statement by Oracle provided to CNET yesterday."
1
ShorebreakShorebreak2,608 posts since
Apr 6, 2010
Rep Points: 14,146
17. Thursday, January 17, 2013 - 5:30 PM
Ok, so I was sweating Java beads and a couple of nights ago when I had a different internet problem with Adobe Reader9 Upgrade, I called the "famous" Geek Squad for help.  While on the phone I asked the Geek guy about this Java warning and should I Have disabled Java (this was after I  disabled it on both Firefox and IE).  He said there was nothing to that warning and I should leave Java alone!  He said there was no difference between Java and Javascript and if I disabled Java I was also losing Javascript.  Frankly, I don't think my Geek guy knew what he was tallking about because after disabling Java, I went to another site to check if I still had Javascript and it said I did!  How could that be if they are one and the same?  And to think I paid hundreds of dollars for a contract for these people to help me with computer problems!  My 3 year contract is expired and I think I will find computer help someplace else in the future.

 
2
paoli2paoli21,370 posts since
Aug 10, 2011
Rep Points: 6,005
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