Posts Tagged ‘Java’

The Updates are Coming the Updates are Coming!!!

imageWell, actually they are already here.  Tuesday Microsoft push security updates to your Windows machines.  By default these updates are installed automatically, but if for some reason you’re not set up for auto-updates, then you probably have the Windows icon in your task tray (that’s in the lower right corner of your screen.)

Update your computer NOW.  And this is a good time to check for any other updates that may need to be done to Adobe Acrobat Reader, Flash and Java.  The Flash reminder usually shows up when your computer first boots into Windows.  Reader and Java will appear in your task tray.

These are updates you need to do.  If updates appear any other time in a different place (like in the middle of a web page) then you should be suspicious.

Java is Waiting for You!

There’s a new update for Java that has come out in the last few days.  If you have Java on your computer (go to your Control Panel, then Programs and Features and look if Java is in the list.  If it is, and you haven’t see a Java update in your taskbar the last few days, then go to Java.com and update your Java.

Java is how MOST viruses get into computers from web sites – so lock your system down and keep it updated.  The latest version is Update 51.

This is What a LIE Looks Like

imageI’ve said it many times, bad guys lie!  Today, I had not one but TWO clients get caught by the same lie.  They both had this “System Care Antivirus” program pop up and report that they had all these trojans, worms, spyware, all the scary words.  The thing is, they really didn’t have those infections, rather, they had this tricky little thing that tries to frighten you into thinking you have all these problems and then they ask you to download their software to fix it – all you need is a credit card to buy it with.  Of course, if you do now the bad guys not only have some of your money but they now also have your credit card information, and though this scary window may go away, I promise you’ll have other bad things left behind you won’t know about.

The good news is that neither of my clients gave up any credit card information.  What’s more disturbing is that it apparently came in through Java, and BOTH of them had the latest version of Java, so I’ll repeat myself again here…. Remove Java from your computer unless you absolutely must have it.  If you’re not sure, remove it anyway.  Any program that needs it will tell you to get Java, and you can go to Java.com to get the latest version.  You can remove Java from the Control Panel under “Programs and Features” (Add/Remove Programs if you’re using Windows XP.)

As Usual, Gov’t is Late to the Party – Remove Java

https://twimg0-a.akamaihd.net/profile_images/936215926/dhs-twitter-300.jpghttp://docs.oracle.com/javase/6/docs/technotes/guides/deployment/deployment-guide/upgrade-guide/images/java_logo.gifFor a couple of months I’ve been recommending to my clients to remove Java if they don’t have a need for it.  Now, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is advising people to “temporarily” disable Java on their computers.  Ignore the “temporary” and “disable”, just permanently remove it.

Don’t confuse Java with JavaScript (a common mistake.)  JavaScript is just a programming language used on the web to automate features on a page.  For example, go to Travelocity.com and click in the box where you select the date you want to travel.  A calendar will pop up where you can click on your travel dates – JavaScript makes that possible.

Java is a platform that runs on Windows, Macs and Linux.  If you’re a programmer and you write your program in Java, then you only have to write it once and it will run on all three systems, rather than having to write three different versions unique to each operating system.  So it can be convenient for the programmer, but there’s a downside – Java is horribly flawed.

New problems in Java are found on almost a weekly basis, meaning constant updates to patch the problems.  Of course as soon as the problem is discovered, bad guys start taking advantage of the flaws and wait for people to visit a site they have compromised.  People who HAVEN’T patched their computer have an open “back door” that the bad guys can use to get into their systems – and that’s where the problem lies.

The Associated Press reported it as “Experts believe hackers have found a flaw in Java’s coding that creates an opening for criminal activity and other high-tech mischief.”  Well duh!!!!  Experts also now believe the Earth is round.

Very few programs run on Java, and you probably don’t need it.  The easiest way to find out is simply to remove Java completely on your system.  Go to your Control Panel, in XP its “Add/Remove Programs” and for Vista/Windows 7 and Windows 8 its “Programs and Features.”  Find Java there and uninstall it. 

If a program needs Java, it will tell you when you try to run the program.  Then you can go out to Java.com and download the latest version and you’re back up and running. 

There’s a Virus Looking for Your Mac

imageA new virus that looks to steal your online passwords has been found in the wild attacking Macs.  It will first try to get in using vulnerabilities in Java, so be sure your Java is up to date (go to www.Java.com to get the latest version).  If your Java is up to date it will try to trick you into allowing it to install saying it is from Apple.

You can read the full ZDNet article about it here: http://goo.gl/lp0sa

It’s the 2nd Tuesday of the Month, Do You Know Where Your Updates Are?

imageIn case you’re new to my blog, the 2nd Tuesday of the month is when Microsoft pushes updates to its Windows operating system down to your computer.  These updates aren’t to make it prettier, it’s to fix security holes that have been discovered. 

Throughout the month you will also get updates from Adobe for Acrobat Reader and for Flash, as well as from Sun for Java.  When you see one of these icons you need to heed the warning and update your computer.  imageWithin DAYS the bad guys will be looking for computers that have NOT fixed and will try to exploit any vulnerabilities.  Don’t get caught – keep your software up to date.

Keep Your Computer Updated! It’s the 2nd Tuesday of the Month – Yay!!!

imageOur favorite day of the month, the 2nd Tuesday, when Microsoft pushes out updates to its products.  Also be looking for other products like Java, Adobe Flash and Adobe Acrobat Reader to have updates as well.  Computers that have NOT been updated is how the bad guys get into your system.  Don’t become a victim of yourself – keep your system up to date (that goes for you Mac users too!)

Don’t Let THIS Happen to You! (yep, it’s real)

Virus

16,481.  What’s that number?  That’s the number of infected files I found on a client’s computer.  This is what can happen when you don’t update Windows, Java, Adobe Acrobat and other programs you use.  Not keeping your software up to date opens the doors to let the bad guys get into your system.  In this case, they got in, disabled Windows Update, blocked other programs from updating, and invited in a bunch of their friends. 

Needless to say, cleaning this up takes quite a bit of time.  If you don’t want to find yourself in this situation, it might be a good time to review my article from November, “3 Secrets to Avoiding Viruses and Malware.”

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