Java mandatory update: Real or scam?

Discussion in 'Shiny Things' started by viverrid, Aug 7, 2013.

  1. viverrid

    viverrid not dead yet

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    I've gotten a couple of screens pop up telling me to download a "Mandatory Update" to Java. Has the right looking logos. But what troubled me is that I CAN'T CLOSE THAT PAGE. I can minimize it and keep working but can't close it. When I try to close, it gets into a circular thing where I get a message asking if I want to leave the page, and if I say "Yes" it just comes back with the same screen.

    So now I'm suspicious......

    I have been restarting to get rid of it.
    #1
  2. a1fa

    a1fa Throttle Jockey™

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    take a screenshot... sounds like you "caught" something..
    #2
  3. straightrod

    straightrod Long timer

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    Happened to me. had to sic malwarebytes on it.
    #3
  4. troidus

    troidus Long timer

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    In Windows, you can close out of everything, then go to Control Panel, Java, and update Java directly from its own control panel.

    Last year Firefox shut down all Java apps when a bad security hole was discovered. The only way to get Java apps to work again was to download the latest version from Oracle.
    #4
  5. CodeMonkee

    CodeMonkee Geek Adventurer

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    I am a Java developer and no, Java generally doesn't do that. If you have auto update turned on, then it may popup an update window, but you should be able to close it/bypass it.

    You can go to the trusted source for Java and update it if you want:

    http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/javase/downloads/index.html

    Never trust such download/login/etc. links in emails, untrusted web sites, or popups that you did not initiate - they rarely are meant to help you and almost always meant to harm you.

    IMO you hit a page that is trying to trick you into downloading something bad. Shut down your browsers and if necessary reboot your computer, then clear out your cookies from your browser. If you still get the window then you may have some kind of malware installed and you may need to clean up your computer, but whatever you do don't let that popup download something for you.

    Generally, most people don't need Java on their machine. If you are running one of the few desktop apps that need it, then you probably already have the version they need (most will download Java themselves to your machine if they need it).

    Most people don't need it in their browser either, unless they are running some special intranet application - and there too you usually know if you need it.

    It may seem strange for me to say this, but I recommend most people uninstall or at least disable Java. It is not that Java is the big security risk that the media makes it out to be (certainly not as bad as ActiveX) and it is no worse than JavaScript (a totally different language that is built into all browsers) in most regards, but rather that most people don't need it, and removing or disabling it decreases the "attack surface" of your computer if you don't need it.

    I write Java apps, both desktop and server, but 99.9% of the usage of Java is on a server, not on a client (your local machine), so most people don't need it.

    If you remove/disable it and something stops working that you want to work, then all you have to do is reinstall it or re-enable it.
    #5
  6. CodeMonkee

    CodeMonkee Geek Adventurer

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    I did a little bit of googling and apparently there are some cases where you may be running a Java webstart app (or maybe an applet) where it may say something about a "mandatory update".

    That said, I wouldn't trust it and I never download anything that way. If I need a newer version of Java I go to the Oracle website. If I need Flash or Adobe Reader I go to the Adobe website. If I need Silverlight or .NET I go to the Microsoft website. I download it directly and manually.
    #6