Dedicated to Deposits: Deals, Data, and Discussion
Featured Savings Rates
Featured Accounts

Hackers Using Java To Install Malware On Many Mac Computers

Tuesday, February 19, 2013 - 2:40 PM
Same hackers who used Facebook to hack into people's computers recently are now reported to have hacked malware onto many Macs via other Websites!:

See the story on it here.

It is not clear how many or whose computers have been hacked, although those at Apple headquarters in Cupertino are among them. Apparently, at least several businesses using Macs also have been affected. Who knows who else has been hacked.  

The key here is Java -- as has been warned about in this forum previously. Turn off Java in your browser -- it is completely unnecessary, is largely outdated and rarely used any more. Java for many, many, many years has been the problem allowing most malware and other hacks -- many or most of your security updates, whether Mac or Windows, are for problems with Java. I turned my Java off a few years ago for this very reason -- there is no problem using the Internet with Java off, nothing lost. But note, it is Java you want to turn off, NOT Java Script, which is necessary and which is something else.
9
me1004me1004370 posts since
Jan 16, 2010
Rep Points: 2,567
1. Tuesday, February 19, 2013 - 3:14 PM
Okay, I just disabled the Java plugin. Do you need Java to access your online accounts at any of the banks or credit unions you belong to?
1
loulou541 posts since
Aug 3, 2010
Rep Points: 3,388
2. Tuesday, February 19, 2013 - 3:56 PM
I have never come across anything on the Internet that required Java, including using online banking at any number of institutions.
2
me1004me1004370 posts since
Jan 16, 2010
Rep Points: 2,567
3. Tuesday, February 19, 2013 - 4:09 PM
With some banks, for example U.S. Bank, to use Internet Banking, your browser must have JavaScript enabled. I am not aware of any banks, other than some overseas such as Bank of Baroda (India), Northern Bank (based in Northern Ireland), the Bank of Ireland, and in Denmark all banks, that use Java for online banking.  I personally would prefer my online banking not working until I figured out what’s wrong, vs. my computer being infected with malware. This is not a theoretical scenario but happening all over the world right now. If you are forced to use Java in the browser for a specific site, you should disable Java in your main browser, and then use an alternate browser just for that one single site.
1
ShorebreakShorebreak2,603 posts since
Apr 6, 2010
Rep Points: 14,091
4. Tuesday, February 19, 2013 - 7:02 PM
Shorebreak, Java and JavaScript are two different things. Don't let the similar names confuse you. Do not turn off JavaScript -- turn off only Java. 

As for figuring out what is wrong with Java: Everything. There is no reason to think Java will ever be safe -- it has had a literally endless list of security fixes, and hardly any time passes before even more are needed. Consider it to be broken permanently. That is probably why it is little used any more. 

You don't need it -- other than maybe for the few obscure foreign banks you mentioned. But I doubt much of any people watching rates on DepositAccounts have their accounts in Denmark.
1
me1004me1004370 posts since
Jan 16, 2010
Rep Points: 2,567
5. Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - 8:01 AM
me1004:
Where did you get the idea that I was "confused" about the difference?  I made it clear in my post that Java and JavaScript are two separate software entities.  The first sentence states that some banks require that JavaScript be enabled in order to accomplish online banking. The rest of the post refers to the overseas banks, that I'm aware of, that state on their sites that Java must be enabled. Please re-read my post again. Cheers.
2
ShorebreakShorebreak2,603 posts since
Apr 6, 2010
Rep Points: 14,091
6. Friday, February 22, 2013 - 12:50 PM
I came across a credit union that uses Java for their online check "edeposit" system (uses your PC & scanner), which really surprised me at the time.  I had it disabled in Firefox & IE but when I tried Google Chrome it worked after enabling Java (plus Chrome was the first one that gave me the message Java was needed).  Normally that would spook me to use them but they're the fastest I've found for ACH in & out (1 day for both), same with check edeposit, with relatively high limits.  Guess I'll turn Java on & off whenever I need to use it!
3
denlivdenliv1 posts since
Feb 22, 2013
Rep Points: 3
7. Friday, February 22, 2013 - 1:42 PM
I have a Linix operating system that my son installed.  Am I safe from Java problems?
1
MaeclMaecl81 posts since
Jul 6, 2010
Rep Points: 652
8. Saturday, February 23, 2013 - 12:27 AM
How do I disable Jave in IE, Firefox and Chrome?
1
outtempsterouttempster7 posts since
Jun 16, 2010
Rep Points: 161
9. Saturday, February 23, 2013 - 11:50 AM
Maecl, Java is a self-contained software platform that lets applications, especially Web-based ones, run equally well on Windows, Mac OS X or Linux.  It has been plagued with a number of security flaws which allow hackers to easily distribute malware.   As me1004 mentions in his post, it is rarely used anymore.   Between the vulnerability and the minimal use, many people have chosen to disable Java altogether. 

This thread may be helpful to you and outtempster #8 in disabling Java in your operating system.   

As always, please make sure that you disable Java, and not Javascript.

Hope that helps.
2
pearlbrownpearlbrown1,431 posts since
Nov 2, 2010
Rep Points: 6,248
10. Friday, March 1, 2013 - 6:37 PM
The following is a link from a Kim Komando email  for another Java alert.

http://www.cio.com/article/729610/Researchers_warn_of_new_Java_exploit_being_used_by_attackers?taxonomyId=1375
1
MaeclMaecl81 posts since
Jul 6, 2010
Rep Points: 652
Reply