Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Mozilla Firefox Version 85 Released With Security Updates


Mozilla sent Firefox Version 85.0 to the release channel today.  The update includes thirteen security updates of which five (5) are rated high, six (6) moderate and two (2) rated low.


Firefox ESR was updated to Version 78.7.






  • Firefox now protects you from supercookies, a type of tracker that can stay hidden in your browser and track you online, even after you clear cookies. By isolating supercookies, Firefox prevents them from tracking your web browsing from one site to the next.
  • It’s easier than ever to save and access your bookmarks. Firefox now remembers your preferred location for saved bookmarks, displays the bookmarks toolbar by default on new tabs, and gives you easy access to all of your bookmarks via a toolbar folder.
  • The password manager now allows you to remove all of your saved logins with one click, as opposed to having to delete each login individually.



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

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Oracle Java Critical Security Update Released


Oracle released the scheduled critical security updates for its Java SE Runtime Environment software. This Critical Patch Update contains 8 new security patches 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.


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

Java SE Runtime Environment Version 8u281:  https://www.oracle.com/java/technologies/javase-jre8-downloads.html or https://java.com/en/download/manual.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.  Preferably, see the instructions below on how to handle "Unwanted Extras".  
  • Oracle does not plan to migrate desktops from Java 8 to Java 9 through the auto update feature.  Therefore, it is strongly recommended that you uninstall JRE 8 prior to updating.
  • Verify your versionhttp://www.java.com/en/download/testjava.jsp.   Note:  The Java version verification page will only work if your browser has NPAPI support.  In that case, to check the version, open a cmd window and enter the following (note the space following Java):  java -version

Critical Patch Updates

For Oracle Java SE Critical Patch Updates, the next scheduled dates are as follows
  • 13 April 2021 
  • 20 July 2021 
  • 19 October 2021 
  • 18 January 2022

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  publicized 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

Java Security Recommendations

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.
3)  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...

Friday, January 15, 2021

Windows Insider MVP! #WIMVP

Once again, I am excited and proud to have been re-awarded Windows Insider MVP! I look forward to testing new Insider Builds and continuing to provide help and share information within the various communities where I participate.


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

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Microsoft January 2021 Security Updates

The Microsoft January 2021 security updates have been released and consist of 83 CVEsOf these 83 CVEs, 10 are rated Critical and 73 are rated Important in severity.  At the time of release, CVE-2021-1648 is publicly known and CVE-2021-1647 is known to be actively exploited.

The updates apply to the following:  Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Edge (EdgeHTML-based), Microsoft Office and Microsoft Office Services and Web Apps, Microsoft Windows Codecs Library, Visual Studio, SQL Server, Microsoft Malware Protection Engine, NET Core, .NET Repository, ASP .NET, and Azure.

If you are using Windows Update, the latest SSU (KB4598481) will be offered to you automatically. To get the standalone package for the latest SSU, search for it in the Microsoft Update Catalog.  For information about Servicing Stack updates see Servicing Stack Updates (SSU).

The KBs listed below contain information about known issues with the security updates.

KB ArticleApplies To
4598229 Windows 10, Version 1903, Windows Server, Version 1903, Windows 10, Version 1909, Windows Server, Version 1909
4598230 Windows 10, Version 1809, Windows Server 2019
4598242 Windows 10, Version 2004, Windows Server, Version 2004, Windows 10, Version 20H2, Windows Server, Version 20H2
4598275 Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012 R2 (Security-only update)
4598278 Windows Server 2012 (Monthly Rollup)
4598279 Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2 (Monthly Rollup)
4598285 Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012 R2 (Monthly Rollup)
4598287 Windows Server 2008 (Security-only update)
4598288 Windows Server 2008 (Monthly Rollup)
4598289 Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2 (Security-only update)
4598297 Windows Server 2012 (Security-only update)

 Recommended Reading 

See Dustin Childs review and analysis in Zero Day Initiative -- The January 2021 Security Update Revuew.

For more information about the updates released today, see the Security Update Guide.

REMINDER:  Adobe Flash Player is out of support.  For more information, see Adobe Flash end of support on December 31, 2020. Flash content is blocked from running in Flash Player today, January 12, 2021. For more information, see Adobe Flash Player EOL General Information Page.

Additional Update Notes:


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

Wednesday, January 06, 2021

Mozilla Firefox Version 84.0.2 Released with Critical Securty Update


Mozilla sent Firefox Version 84.0.2 to the release channel today with a critical security updat4e for Firefox, Firefox ESR, Firefox for Android. 

Firefox ESR was updated to Version 78.6.1.



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