Java update tackles multiple critical flaws
Users should consider disabling browser plugins, says security firm
Oracle has released a cross-platform update for Java that addresses 17 vulnerabilities in the ubiquitous software platform.
All 17 vulnerabilities might be abused to inject code into vulnerable systems, and all but one affect how Java Runtime Environment client software runs in browsers.
Java 6 update 26 for Windows, Linux and Solaris is designed to plug these multiple holes and is available for download from Oracle here. The last major update on this scale was three months ago.
Java packages on Windows can alternatively be patched using a built-in update function.
Apple users will have to wait until Apple releases an update to address these vulnerabilities, since there's no update for Mac OS X from Oracle.
The ubiquity of Java and the difficulty many users understandably have in keeping the software up to date have made it an attractive target for hackers. Users should consider whether they might be better off uninstalling Java from their systems or, at the very least, disabling Java browser plug-ins, an option discussed in greater depth in a blog post by net security firm Sophos here. ®
Let's face it
Java, Adobe Reader, Adobe Flash are all ubiquitous and are good choices for attack vectors. Even easier than Windows as they tend not to get updated.
This PC has always had the Java VM running on it, and I'd always assumed that something-or-other other used it. From this article and from remarks here and elsewhere, I can see that it isn't, so I just uninstalled it. Hopefully it will improve my boot time a tad, too.
One of the voices in my head said "we might want to develop something in Java one day", but the other voices all just looked at it, until it said "I'll get my coat".
Does anyone actually use Java in a browser any more?
Indeed, if you're not a developer or use Java in an office intranet, why would you have it installed at all - its just one more, quite impressive, source of attack vectors to your computer and network?