Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Oracle Java Critical Security Update


Oracle released the scheduled critical security updates for its Java SE Runtime Environment software and, once again, released two versions.

The updates contain (thirteen) 13 new security fixes for Oracle Java SE of which (nine) 9 of these vulnerabilities may be remotely exploitable without authentication, i.e., may be exploited over a network without the need for a username and password.

Unwanted "Extras"

Although most people do not need Java on their computer, there are some programs and games that require Java.  In the event you need to continue using Java, How-to Geek discovered a little-known and  unpublicized option in the Java Control Panel to suppress the offers for the pre-checked unwanted extras that Oracle has long included with the updates.  Although the Ask Toolbar has been removed, tha does not preclude the pre-checked option for some other unnecessary add-on.

Do the following to suppress the sponsor offers:
  1. Launch the Windows Start menu
  2. Click on Programs
  3. Find the Java program listing
  4. Click Configure Java to launch the Java Control Panel
  5. Click the Advanced tab and go to the "Miscellaneous" section at the bottom.
  6. Check the box by the “Suppress sponsor offers when installing or updating Java” option and click OK.
Java suppress sponsor offers

Windows XP

For information on Java support for Windows XP, organizations and individuals who must continue using Windows XP and have Java installed are referred to the Oracle blog post, The future of Java on Windows XP (Henrik on Java).


If Java is still installed on your computer, it is recommended that this update be applied as soon as possible due to the threat posed by a successful attack.

Download Information

Download link:  Java SE 8u101

Java SE 8u102 can be found here.  Select the appropriate version for your operating system.

Verify your version:  http://www.java.com/en/download/testjava.jsp

  • UNcheck any pre-checked toolbar and/or software options presented with the update. They are not part of the software update and are completely optional.
  • Starting with Java SE 7 Update 21 in April 2013, all Java Applets and Web Start Applications should be signed with a trusted certificate.  It is not recommended to run untrusted/unsigned Certificates.  See How to protect your computer against dangerous Java Applets

Critical Patch Updates

For Oracle Java SE Critical Patch Updates, the next scheduled dates are as follows:
  • 18 October 2016
  • 17 January 2017
  • 18 April 2017
  • 18 July 2017

Java Security Recommendations

For those people who have desktop applications that require Java and cannot uninstall it, Java can now be disabled in Internet Explorer.  See Microsoft Fix it to Disable Java in Internet Explorer.

1)  In the Java Control Panel, at minimum, set the security to high.
2)  Keep Java disabled until needed.  Uncheck the box "Enable Java content in the browser" in the Java Control Panel.

Java Security

Instructions on removing older (and less secure) versions of Java can be found at http://java.com/en/download/faq/remove_olderversions.xml


Remember - "A day without laughter is a day wasted."
May the wind sing to you and the sun rise in your heart...

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Microsoft Security Bulletin Release for July, 2016

Microsoft released eleven (11) bulletins.  Six (6) bulletins are identified as Critical and the remaining five (5) are rated Important in severity

The updates address vulnerabilities in Microsoft Windows, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, Microsoft Office and Microsoft Office Services and Web Apps and Microsoft .NET Framework.

Addressed in the updates are Remote Code Execution, Information Disclosure and Security Feature Bypass.

Information about the update for Windows 10 is available at Windows 10 update history.

  • MS16-084 Cumulative Security Update for Internet Explorer (3169991)
  • MS16-085 Cumulative Security Update for Microsoft Edge (3169999) 
  • MS16-086 Cumulative Security Update for JScript and VBScript (3169996)
  • MS16-087 Security Update for Windows Print Spooler Components (3170005)
  • MS16-088 Security Update for Microsoft Office (3170008)
  • MS16-093 Security Update for Adobe Flash Player (3174060)

  • MS16-089 Security Update for Windows Secure Kernel Mode (3170050)
  • MS16-090  Security Update for Windows Kernel-Mode Drivers (3171481)
  • MS16-091 Security Update for .NET Framework (3170048)
  • MS16-092 Security Update for Windows Kernel (3171910)
  • MS16-094 Security Update for Secure Boot (3177404)

Additional Update Notes

  • Adobe Flash Player -- For Windows Server 2012, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows RT 8.1, Windows 10, and Windows 10 Version 1511, Adobe Flash Player is now a security bulletin rather than a security advisory and is included with the updates.
  • MSRT -- Microsoft released an updated version of the Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool on Windows Update, Microsoft Update, Windows Server Update Services, and the Download Center. 
  • Windows 8.x and Windows 10 -- Non-security new features and improvements for Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 are included with the updates.
  • Windows 10 -- A summary of important product developments included in each update, with links to more details is available at Windows 10 Update History. The page will be regularly refreshed, as new updates are released.


    Remember - "A day without laughter is a day wasted."
    May the wind sing to you and the sun rise in your heart...

    Adobe Reader and Acrobat Critical Update Released

    Adobe has security updates for Adobe Reader and Acrobat XI for Windows and Macintosh. These updates address critical vulnerabilities that could potentially allow an attacker to take control of the affected system.

    Release date: July 12, 2016

    Vulnerability identifier: APSB16-26
    CVE Numbers: CVE-2016-4189, CVE-2016-4190, CVE-2016-4191, CVE-2016-4192, CVE-2016-4193, CVE-2016-4194, CVE-2016-4195, CVE-2016-4196, CVE-2016-4197, CVE-2016-4198, CVE-2016-4199, CVE-2016-4200, CVE-2016-4201, CVE-2016-4202, CVE-2016-4203, CVE-2016-4204, CVE-2016-4205, CVE-2016-4206, CVE-2016-4207, CVE-2016-4208, CVE-2016-4209, CVE-2016-4210, CVE-2016-4211, CVE-2016-4212, CVE-2016-4213, CVE-2016-4214, CVE-2016-4215, CVE-2016-4250, CVE-2016-4251, CVE-2016-4252
    Platform: Windows and Macintosh

    Update or Complete Download

    Update checks can be manually activated by choosing Help > Check for Updates.
      Note: UNcheck any pre-checked additional options presented with the update. They are not part of the software update and are completely optional.

      End of Support:  Adobe Acrobat X and Adobe Reader 

      Adobe Acrobat X and Adobe Reader X are no longer supported (see here). Adobe recommends Adobe Acrobat DC (FAQ) and Adobe Acrobat Reader DC (FAQ).  However, another alternate is available to replace Adobe Reader 

      If you are still using Windows XP and have Adobe Reader installed, please note that there will be no additional security updates for it.  I suggest uninstalling it and install an alternate reader.  Personally, I like Sumatra PDF.  It isn't a target and doesn't include unwanted extras with the install or updates.  

      Enable "Protected View"

      Due to frequent vulnerabilities, it is recommended that Windows users of Adobe Reader and Acrobat ensure that Protected View is enabled.  Neither the Protected Mode or Protected View option is available for Macintosh users.

      To enable this setting, do the following:
      • Click Edit > Preferences > Security (Enhanced) menu. 
      • Change the "Off" setting to "All Files".
      • Ensure the "Enable Enhanced Security" box is checked. 

      Adobe Protected View
      Image via Sophos Naked Security Blog


      Remember - "A day without laughter is a day wasted."
      May the wind sing to you and the sun rise in your heart...

      Adobe Flash Player Critical Security Update

      Adobe Flashplayer

      Adobe has released Version of Adobe Flash Player for Microsoft Windows, Macintosh and Chrome as well as Version for Linux.  The Extended Support Release for Windows and Macintosh was updated to Version 

      The updates are to address important bug fixes and critical vulnerabilities that could potentially allow an attacker to take control of the affected system.

      Release date: July 12, 2016
      Vulnerability identifier: APSB16-25
      CVE number: CVE-2016-4172, CVE-2016-4173, CVE-2016-4174, CVE-2016-4175, CVE-2016-4176, CVE-2016-4177, CVE-2016-4178, CVE-2016-4179, CVE-2016-4180, CVE-2016-4181, CVE-2016-4182, CVE-2016-4183, CVE-2016-4184, CVE-2016-4185, CVE-2016-4186, CVE-2016-4187, CVE-2016-4188, CVE-2016-4189, CVE-2016-4190, CVE-2016-4217, CVE-2016-4218, CVE-2016-4219, CVE-2016-4220, CVE-2016-4221, CVE-2016-4222, CVE-2016-4223, CVE-2016-4224, CVE-2016-4225, CVE-2016-4226, CVE-2016-4227, CVE-2016-4228, CVE-2016-4229, CVE-2016-4230, CVE-2016-4231, CVE-2016-4232, CVE-2016-4233, CVE-2016-4234, CVE-2016-4235, CVE-2016-4236, CVE-2016-4237, CVE-2016-4238, CVE-2016-4239, CVE-2016-4240, CVE-2016-4241, CVE-2016-4242, CVE-2016-4243, CVE-2016-4244, CVE-2016-4245, CVE-2016-4246, CVE-2016-4247, CVE-2016-4248, CVE-2016-42494171
      Platform: Windows, Macintosh, Linux and Chrome OS

      Warning:  Although Adobe suggests downloading the update from the Adobe Flash Player Download Center, that link includes a pre-checked option to install unnecessary extras, such as McAfee Scan Plus or Google Drive.  If you use the download center, uncheck any unnecessary extras. 

        • If you use the Adobe Flash Player Download Center, be careful to uncheck any optional downloads that you do not want.  Any pre-checked option is not needed for the Flash Player update.
        • Uncheck any toolbar offered with Adobe products if not wanted.
        • If you use alternate browsers, it is necessary to install the update for both Internet Explorer as well as the update for alternate browsers.
        • The separate 32-bit and 64-bit uninstallers have been replaced with a single uninstaller.

        Verify Installation

        To verify the Adobe Flash Player version number installed on your computer, go to the About Flash Player page, or right-click on content running in Flash Player and select "About Adobe Flash Player" from the menu. 

        Do this for each browser installed on your computer.

        To verify the version of Adobe Flash Player for Android, go to Settings > Applications > Manage Applications > Adobe Flash Player x.x.


        Remember - "A day without laughter is a day wasted."
        May the wind sing to you and the sun rise in your heart...