A serious security vulnerability could start to affect Java users very soon. A team of security researchers at Rapid7 recently discovered a massive hole in Java’s security that allows hackers to “easily” gain access to user’s computers.
The hackers can exploit a vulnerability in Java’s software, and to make matters worse, there is apparently no way to defend your computer against them. Since 97% of corporate PCs have Java installed, this vulnerability could pose a serious threat to the business world. No matter how secure the firewalls on a corporate network might be, the weak point is always the end user, and if a hacker can get control of a user’s system through a Java vulnerability, there is no shortage of damage that could be done.
Of course, home users should be worried too. If a hacker gets remote access to your computer, the hacker could install keylogging software that monitors your online activities and passwords. Or, they might simply disable access to important parts of your computer and force you to pay them in order to unlock your system. This is known as ‘hijacking’, and it basically involves taking a computer for ransom.
Java is found on the majority of PCs around the world. It’s a useful application that allows scripts to run from various webpages. Normally, these scripts are harmless and useful, but in other cases, Java provides an easy means through which a virus can attack a system.
As of yet, Oracle, the creators of Java, had not released a comment on the issue.
How do I fix this Java exploit and protect my PC?
The best way to fix this Java exploit is to disable Java or even uninstall it from your computer completely. Hackers can’t exploit Java
If you don’t want to completely remove Java, then try installing a useful Firefox plugin called No Script which prevents scripts from automatically running after visiting a webpage. That way, if you visit a malicious website, your computer won’t immediately become infected or hacked. Users can still run Java whenever they want, and a simple message will pop up whenever your system needs to run Java.
To find out if your computer’s Java can be exploited, Rapid7 has set up a site that allows users to download free checking software. Visit the website here