A new security risk, and how you can protect yourself.

JavaA serious security risk has been found that uses the Java plugin of your browser to give hackers access to the computers of unsuspecting web surfers.

Tech news site The Register reports:

A new browser-based exploit for a Java vulnerability that allows attackers to execute arbitrary code on client systems has been spotted in the wild – and because of Oracle’s Java patch schedule, it may be some time before a fix becomes widely available.

What this means is that hackers can exploit this vulnerability by creating a  web page that can force your computer to download and run a program without your knowledge – including keyloggers or other types of malware.

And since Java has said they can’t update the program to fix the problem in the short term, you should disable the Java plugin on your browser until they do.

To do that:

  • In Firefox: Press Firefox button -> Add-ons, go to Plugins and click the “Disable” button next to anything named “Java”.
  • In Chrome: Type in: “chrome://plugins/” into the address bar (no speech marks). Scroll down to Java and click disable.
  • In Opera: Type in “opera:plugins” into the address bar (no speech marks). Scroll down to:
    • Java(TM) Platform <click on> Disable.
    • Java Deployment Toolkit <click on> Disable.
  • In Internet Explorer: Go to Tools -> Manage add-ons -> Toolbars and Extensions. At the bottom, show: All add-ons. Find anything under Sun Microsystems or named “Java”/”Deployment Toolkit” and right-click -> Disable it.
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