Update your Java now (THIS MEANS YOU!)
How are Java attacks getting through (Websense article)

Rixstep article on Flashback, a Mac security debacle

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The war
A lot of web sites are programmed entirely or in part using some form of Oracle's Java, a cross-platform programming environment. It is for this reason that the Java Runtime Environment is installed in almost every computer used to access the Internet. You can uninstall Java from your Windows or Macintosh PC, but in browsing the Internet, it wouldn't be long before some web site would ask you to install it again. Because everyone uses it, it has become another exploitable target of the folks who write computer viruses, and there is a war going on over the information and other resources that your exploitable computer has to offer. On your side of the fight are Microsoft and Apple, plus all of the companies that publish antivirus software, and now also those companies like Adobe and Oracle that publish Java, Adobe Flash and other little programs that have come to make using the Internet and multimedia content thereon possible and pleasurable. On the other side of the fight are the cybercriminals who study the security updates published by the good guys, testing their viruses and Trojans against those updates for a way into your stuff. It is absolutely necessary to keep all of your system (Microsoft AND Apple now), Adobe and Oracle software up to date. Check your Security control panel and make sure your Windows is set to update itself. Whenever you get a notification from Adobe, click it and follow up on whatever it wants you to do. Mac users should run Software Update periodically.

Update Java...
A March 2013 study by the security experts at Websense showed that over 93% of computer users had not updated to the latest version of Java, leaving all of them woefully unprotected. Windows computers have a little program that runs constantly called the Java Update Scheduler. But though it's always running, it only checks to see if your Java is up to date once a month. Trouble is, a month is an eternity in the course of this aforementioned war, and users are cautioned to check for updates immediately and often. It only takes a few minutes and it's not difficult; here's how:

...for Windows
1] Point your browser to java.com

2] Find a link or a button on the Java web site that's labeled 'Download' or 'Free Java Download,' and click it.

3] Click the big button that says 'Agree and Start Free Download.'

4] For each window that appears during the procedure, just click the default (biggest) button WITH ONE EXCEPTION: Don't 'Install the Ask Toolbar and make Ask my default search provider' Instead, uncheck the box next to this suggested added download, and proceed with accepting the defaults as before. If you already have this Java update, the installer will tell you before it installs and ask if you want to reinstall it. No need for that.

...for Macintosh OS X
Just click 'Software Update...' in the Apple menu. Software Update will check for new software, including your Java and all your other software, and make sure you're up to date. Make sure you click the 'Show Details' button and take a look at what's getting updated. If Java is not on the list, then don't worry about that for now, though you may find Apple’s own security updates. Click ‘Install (the) Items.’
April 7, 2013

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