Update Java After Removing Older Versions
The attack can be induced if someone visits a Web site that's been set up with malicious code to take advantage of the hole.
To secure your computer you'll need to uninstall all current versions, then update to the most recent version available.
- Don't allow Java's updater to run. It won't removed the vulnerable older versions.
- First, remove all currently-installed versions of Java. Older versions will leave your system vulnerable.
- Next, download and install Version 7 Update 21 or later directly from Java.com.
You don't need to uninstall Java (it is necessary for LibreOffice, OpenOffice.org and other software to run on your computer) but I recommend diabling Java on web browsers — enabling it for trusted sites only. Java is blocked by default on Apple devices.
What is Java?
Oracle defines Java as
a programming language and computing platform first released by Sun Microsystems in 1995.
Java is most visible in online games such as those on Pogo.com and similar sites as well as many phone- and tablet-based applications. However there are mainstream Java-based applications such as LibreOffice and OpenOffice.org. Java is now owned by Oracle, an established company long associated with corporate software rather than consumer software, which purchased Sun, the originator of Java.
Oracle and Java are registered trademarks of Oracle and/or its affiliates. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.
Java is a Cross-Platform Environment
Java is a cross-platform environment used to create regular programs that can run on virtually any operating system and on thousands of other devices. The only requirement is that a Java virtual machine (JVM) or Java Runtime Environment (JRE) is available for the operating system or device.
Java's "run anywhere" merely requires that a device or operating system have a Java interface (the JVM or JRE) that translates Java into something the operating system or device can understand.
Update to the Most Recent Version
Download the latest version of Java for your operating system:
- Oracle's Consumer Java Site.
- Get the latest Java version automatically.
- The Java Downloads for All Operating Systems page has offline installers for various installations.
- You can test your Java installation.
- The Java Verification page.
Java for Linux
- How to install Java for Linux.
- See Java Downloads for All Operating Systems for offline installers for Linux.
Java for Mac
- Apple provides their own version of Java. Use the Software Update feature on the Apple menu to check for the most current Java available for your Mac.
- Apple's Java downloads for the Mac.
- OS X Lion does not provide a Java runtime by default.
- See Java Downloads for All Operating Systems for offline installers for the Mac.
Both 32-bit (x86) and 64-bit (x64) computers currently depend upon 32-bit browsers:
- Most 64-bit operating systems include a 64-bit browser.
- These 64-bit browsers have the potential for much faster browsing on 64-bit systems.
- However, most addons and plugins are only available for 32-bit browsers.
If you do install the 64-bit version of Java you'll need to ensure that you update both the 32- and 64-bit versions. See Which Java download should I choose for my 64-bit Windows operating system?
Since the inception of Java technology, there has been strong and growing interest around the security of the Java platform as well as new security issues raised by the deployment of Java technology.
— Java Security Architecture
Firefox & Java Security
Firefox disables the Java plugin on computers running Windows with Firefox 17 or later running Java 7 Update 11 or earlier (the dark grey box on the right). Java warns you before allowing the vulnerability to be exploited.
You'll likely see a warning similar to the light grey one shown on the right for Java 7 Update 13 or later. Be sure to only allow Java to run on sites you trust.
- How to use Java if it's been blocked (e.g. for Pogo.com).
Uninstalling Older Versions
You should always uninstall older versions of Java. Old and unsupported versions of Java are a serious security risk and can leave your system vulnerable.
Removing older versions of Java from your system ensures that Java applications will run with the most up-to-date security and performance improvements on your system.
- Why should I remove older versions of Java from my system?
- How do I uninstall Java on my Windows computer?
- Java Uninstall tool
- Oracle's Java SE Security.
Special Note to Windows XP Users
Microsoft Java Virtual Machine, Microsoft's Java "alternative" is no longer supported. Although Sun allowed for a transition period beginning in 2003, this period expired June 30, 2009 and MSJVM is now obsolete.
All Windows XP users need to download and install Oracle Java as Microsoft's built-in JVM is not safe to use.
Java Programs and Applets
The most common use of Java is still small programs called applets, but there are Java programs, especially in the emerging phone and tablet markets.
- OpenOffice.org is a multiplatform and multilingual office suite.
- LibreOffice.org is another multiplatform and multilingual office suite (a break-away from OpenOffice).
- Freewarejava.com has applets and other Java resources.
- JavaShareware.com for Java applications, applets, JavaBeans and more.
- IBM's Java-based Applications Page includes IBM applications and other technologies running under Java.
- IBM Java Developer Page.
- IBM's AlphaWorks New Java Technologies - IBM's cutting edge Java technologies.
- BlueJ is freeware used to teach object orientation with Java.
- Polarbar Mailer is a 100% pure Java email application that runs on all platforms supporting Java (somewhat dated now, but an interesting application).
Learning More About Java
- Oracle's Java Site. Oracle now owns Java technology (purchased with Sun Microsystems).
- DZone — the heart of the Java developer community (formerly JavaLobby) is a non-profit organization working to promote and support Java as a cross-platform solution.
- The History of Java Technology.
- ITtoolbox Java is a content, community, and service for Java professionals.
- Ten Amazing Java Applications.
- The comp.lang.java FAQ List contains some interesting historical information.
Updated: May 9, 2013