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We’ve been talking about Java vulnerabilities for the past couple months here at the Fix My PC Free blog. A few weeks ago, a Java vulnerability became so serious that PC security experts around the world recommended that computer users completely remove the popular web application.
Java, like any computer program, has its vulnerabilities. But what has made these Java security flaws so worrisome is that they’re labelled as “zero-day” bugs, which means that hackers are discovering them immediately after (and sometimes even before) a new version of Java is released. Since Java is installed on approximately 1 billion computers around the world, this puts an alarming number of people at risk of being infected with viruses and malware.
The new Java threat
Over this past weekend, a new Java bug was discovered by PC researcher Adam Gowdiak, the founder of a Polish PC security company called Security Explorations. This bug, like other recent problems with Java, is also considered to be a zero-day vulnerability. To make matters worse, it affects both Mac users and PC users. However, only Mac users who have OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) or earlier versions are affected by the problem, since later versions of Mac OS X do not include Java at all.
Although Gowdiak has informed Oracle, the creators of Java, of the problem, a patch has not yet been released. Oracle releases Java patches on a regular schedule, and the next patch is set to be released on October 16.
As a result, PC security experts are once again recommending that users disable Java on their computers immediately until that date or earlier. Leaving computers critically unprotected for weeks at a time could lead to serious virus and malware problems and even targeted hacking attacks. Hackers might have already discovered and exploited this critical Java flaw. If they haven’t already done so, then they might soon.
How to protect your PC from zero-day Java vulnerabilities
If you want to learn how to disable Java on Chrome, Firefox, or Internet Explorer, read through these instructions at the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team website (yes, apparently that’s a real organization).
To protect your PC even further, try downloading a free trial of PC Cleaner Pro. PC Cleaner Pro will alert users to any problems that it encounters on the system. It scans every part of the computer for sources of slowdowns, crashes, and errors, and the end result of a scan is that users are left with a faster and more secure PC.