Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Critical Oracle Java Security Update Plus Important FTC Notice


Oracle released the scheduled critical security updates for its Java SE Runtime Environment software and, once again, released two versions.  Java SE 8u111 includes important security fixes and Java SE 8u112 is a patch-set update, including all of 8u111 plus the additional features described in the release notes.

The update contains (seven) 7 new critical security fixes for Oracle Java SE.  All of these vulnerabilities may be remotely exploitable without authentication, i.e., may be exploited over a network without requiring user credentials.

Important FTC Notice

In addition to the critical security updates, an important notice has been provided by Oracle (available here) regarding an FTC lawsuit against Oracle due to the old practice of not removing vulnerable versions of Java when updates were released. As explained in Java, The Never-Ending Saga, it wasn't until JRE SE 6u11, that the update mechanism for Java was finally changed to remove the previous install. However, it did not remove installations prior to update 10.  As a result, computers with earlier versions of Java SE were/are still vulnerable to the security risks corrected in later versions.

In the event you still need Java installed on your computer, step-by-step instructions are available for uninstalling Java covering operating systems from Windows ME through Windows 10.  See Instructions for Uninstalling 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 8u111

Java SE 8u112 can be found here.  Select the appropriate version for your operating system.

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

  • Minimally, 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.  Preferably, see the instructions below on how to handle "Unwanted Extras". 
  • 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:
  • 17 January 2017
  • 18 April 2017
  • 18 July 2017 
  • 17 October 2017

Unwanted "Extras"

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 that Oracle has long included with the updates.  Although the Ask Toolbar has been removed, tha does not preclude the pre-checked option for some other unnecessary add-on.

Do the following to suppress the sponsor offers:
  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

For information on Java support for Windows XP, organizations and individuals who must continue using Windows XP and have Java installed are referred to the Oracle blog post, The future of Java on Windows XP (Henrik on Java).

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


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