Scam of the day – April 22, 2013 – Urgent Java updates

Computer hackers are constantly exploiting vulnerabilities in software to attack your computer and steal information from it that can make you a victim of identity theft.   The dirty little secret is that computer security software is not very effective against the newest viruses and malware.  Studies have shown that it takes the software security companies about a month to catch up with the latest viruses.  During that time you are extremely vulnerable to viruses and other malware despite having the latest security software on your computer.  Java software which is made by Oracle has been a particularly successful target of hackers and identity thieves.  According to Kaspersky Lab, flaws in Java software was responsible for about half of all the cyber attacks by hackers last year.    Dangerous vulnerabilities in Java software have been continuously exploited by identity thieves and hackers to gain access to victims’ computers, steal information and make them victims of identity theft. Despite the best efforts of Oracle the maker of Java software, Java continues to be a source of opportunity for hackers and identity thieves.  It has gotten so bad that  the Department of Homeland Security has gone as far as to advise that people disable Java or prevent Java apps from running in your browser.

TIPS

I strongly advise people who do not need to use Java that they disable it.  Here is an important link from the Department of Homeland Security with information as to how to disable Java or to otherwise deal with its vulnerabilities: http://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/alerts/TA13-064A.

However if you still desire to use Java software, you should use this link to go to Oracle’s latest security patches for Java: http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/javafx/overview/index.html

Scam of the day – January 12, 2013 – Serious security flaw in Java

As I often say, “things are not as bad as you think – they are worse.”  Yesterday the U.S. Computer Emergency Response Team issued a warning telling people to disable Java software in their Web browsers due to serious security flaws.  Presently a discovered vulnerability in Java software 7  is being exploited by hackers who are using it for various nefarious purposes including locking computer users out of being able to access their computers unless they pay a ransom.  Hundreds of millions of people are affected by this flaw and are in danger of identity theft and worse.

TIPS

Until a patch is available, it is absolutely necessary to disable Java in order to protect yourself.  Those people who have Java 7 Update 10 can readily disable Java in their Web brosers through the use of he Java control panel applet.  Here is a link to Java’s own instruction page for disabling the program.  This is a critical step to take. http://docs.oracle.com/javase/7/docs/technotes/guides/jweb/client-security.html#disable