Update Java on your Mac or Windows Machine

Oracle has released new updates to fix security holes in Java.  In February tech giants Microsoft, Facebook, Apple, and Twitter acknowledged computers on their network had been hacked through vulnerabilities in the Java platform.  As a result, Oracle has released updates to Java that will help prevent these types of attacks.

Java (unlike JavaScript) is not used for everyday web surfing.  If you do not need Java it should be uninstalled from your computer to prevent any future vulnerabilities from being exploited.

Malware from an infected website secretly exploits vulnerabilities in the outdated version of Java to infect and compromise a user’s computer.  This malware is designed to steal personal information such as passwords, credit card and bank account numbers, as well as spread itself throughout the network.

To address this threat, Apple had previously disabled Java on Macs. An update for Java has been released which will allow your Mac computer to run Java-based applications.  If you are running a NUnet-based machine at Northeastern, this patch will be applied for you automatically.

Please note that the Blackboard system here at Northeastern is an important academic technology that relies on Java to function — the Blackboard Collaborate web conferencing tool in particular.  In order to use Blackboard Collaborate, users should have the latest version of Java installed. Additionally, Banner INB relies on Java. While Information Technology Services has not seen any specific issues related to using Java version 7 with Banner INB, Java version 6 is officially supported by our vendor for use with Banner INB. Regardless of whether Banner INB users have Java 6 or 7, the latest revision of the either version should be installed.

Instructions on how to install Java updates:  http://www.northeastern.edu/securenu/?page_id=2183

To stay current with the latest virus and malware threats please visit www.northeastern.edu/securenu

Please contact the ITS Service Desk at 617.373.4357 or at help@neu.edu for questions or assistance.

Posted in 2013 March IS Newsletter and tagged , .