Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Oracle Java Critical Security Update


Oracle released the scheduled critical security updates for its Java SE Runtime Environment software. 

This is a Critical Patch Update that affects Oracle Java SE, versions 5.0u71, 6u81, 7u67, 8u20.  From The Assurance Blog:
"Out of the 154 vulnerabilities fixed with today’s Critical Patch Update release, 31 are for the Oracle Database. All but 3 of these database vulnerabilities are related to features implemented using Java in the Database, and a number of these vulnerabilities have received a CVSS Base Score of 9.0."

Unwanted "Extras"

Oracle has long included pre-checked options with the updates.  Although most people do not need Java on their computer, there are some programs and games that require Java.  In the event you need to continue using Java, How-to Geek discovered a little-known and  unpublicized option in the Java Control Panel to suppress the offers for the pre-checked unwanted extras.

  1. Launch the Windows Start menu
  2. Click on Programs
  3. Find the Java program listing
  4. Click Configure Java to launch the Java Control Panel
  5. Click the Advanced tab and go to the "Miscellaneous" section at the bottom.
  6. Check the box by the “Suppress sponsor offers when installing or updating Java” option and click OK.
Java suppress sponsor offers

Windows XP

There has been a lot of recent controversy regarding Java updates for Windows XP.  While Windows XP has reached end of life, Java 7 will continue to be updated until April, 2015.

Thus, organizations and individuals who must continue using Windows XP and have Java installed can also continue getting updates for Java 7.  It is noted, however, that if an issue arises that is specific to Windows XP, Oracle is not required to and also may not be able to create a patch.  For additional information, refer to the Oracle blog post, The future of Java on Windows XP (Henrik on Java).


If Java is still installed on your computer, it is recommended that this update be applied as soon as possible due to the threat posed by a successful attack.

Download Information

Download link:  Java SE 8u25

Verify your version:  http://www.java.com/en/download/testjava.jsp

  • UNcheck any pre-checked toolbar and/or software options presented with the update. They are not part of the software update and are completely optional.
  • Starting with Java SE 7 Update 21 in April 2013, all Java Applets and Web Start Applications should be signed with a trusted certificate.  It is not recommended to run untrusted/unsigned Certificates.  See How to protect your computer against dangerous Java Applets

Critical Patch Updates

For Oracle Java SE Critical Patch Updates, the next scheduled dates are as follows:
  • 20 January 2015
  • 14 April 2015
  • 14 July 2015
  • 20 October 2015

Java Security Recommendations

For those people who have desktop applications that require Java and cannot uninstall it, Java can now be disabled in Internet Explorer.  See Microsoft Fix it to Disable Java in Internet Explorer.

1)  In the Java Control Panel, at minimum, set the security to high.
2)  Keep Java disabled until needed.  Uncheck the box "Enable Java content in the browser" in the Java Control Panel.

Java ControlPanel
(Image via Sophos Naked Security Blog)

3)  If you use Firefox, install NoScript and only allow Java on those sites where it is required.

Instructions on removing older (and less secure) versions of Java can be found at http://java.com/en/download/faq/remove_olderversions.xml


Remember - "A day without laughter is a day wasted."
May the wind sing to you and the sun rise in your heart...

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