US gov’t tells computer users to disable Java

The malware has currently been seen attacking Windows, Linux and Unix systems, and while so far has not focused on OS X, may be able to do so given OS X is largely similar to Unix and Java is cross-platform.

Luckily with the latest versions of Java, users who need to keep it active can change a couple of settings to help secure their systems. Go to the Java Control Panel that is installed along with the runtime, and in the Security section uncheck the option to “Enable Java content in the browser,” which will disable the browser plug-in. This will prevent the inadvertent execution of exploits that may be stumbled upon when browsing the Web, and is a recommended setting for most people to do. If you need to see a Java applet on the Web, then you can always temporarily re-enable the plug-in.
The second setting is to increase the security level of the Java runtime, which can also be done in the same Security section of the Java Control Panel. The default security level is Medium, but you can increase this to High or Very High. At the High level, Java will prompt you for approval before running any unsigned Java code, and at the Very High level all Java code will require such approval, regardless of whether or not it is signed.

While most business have programs requiring Java – and it cannot be disabled, care should be taken to have users either highten their security or to avoid non-work web sites for now.
 

The malware has currently been seen attacking Windows, Linux and Unix systems, and while so far has not focused on OS X, may be able to do so given OS X is largely similar to Unix and Java is cross-platform.

Luckily with the latest versions of Java, users who need to keep it active can change a couple of settings to help secure their systems. Go to the Java Control Panel that is installed along with the runtime, and in the Security section uncheck the option to “Enable Java content in the browser,” which will disable the browser plug-in. This will prevent the inadvertent execution of exploits that may be stumbled upon when browsing the Web, and is a recommended setting for most people to do. If you need to see a Java applet on the Web, then you can always temporarily re-enable the plug-in.
The second setting is to increase the security level of the Java runtime, which can also be done in the same Security section of the Java Control Panel. The default security level is Medium, but you can increase this to High or Very High. At the High level, Java will prompt you for approval before running any unsigned Java code, and at the Very High level all Java code will require such approval, regardless of whether or not it is signed.

While most business have programs requiring Java – and it cannot be disabled, care should be taken to have users either highten their security or to avoid non-work web sites for now.

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