Your tests are limited to your experience. The things I cited are what groups actually researching attack vectors for viruses, including one specialist from McAfee. You made a specific statement that Java was one of the top 3 attack vectors. Quite to the contrary, your comment was a straight out statement as to what is instead of a very limited scope. I was using the tactic of visiting sites that I knew were popular, and also the kind of sites that most folks go to for everyday computing. These were being compromised at an accelerated rate, as the criminals got better at spiking what were other wise perfectly legitimate sites to serve up malware to the masses.
As time went on Microsoft made its NT4 kernel more and more resistant to manipulation, and by the time NT5 and NT6 arrived, my previous approach was not snagging any effective attacks. So I started using the same sites techs in my circle use, to test for live zero day malware samples.
Eventually this became a waste of time, and I now use junk email accounts with spam and attachments for threats that are vigorous enough to make my time worth while. I always run with all Windows built in security enhancements in force, like limited accounts, and parental application control, and test a variety of freeware security tools to fight malware in my lab. Most of them are on a tight budget, and use almost all free ware or other Microsoft enhancements to security.
Several posters here already covered that facet of the subject better than I - so I was just trying to keep it short and sweet - and relating what I see in my own observations. I actually should have put FaceBook as the fourth worst source of attacks in that list, but it is a site, and not a particular application.
Can someone explain the downvotes? Once a vulnerability becomes known, the number of active exploits of it quickly increases. In many cases security researches publish PoCs proofs of concept after patches have been released, or sometimes before if they are trying to push a reticent vendor to fix a problem.
Additionally there is more chance for people to discover the vulnerability even if it is not initially clear where it is. And, when updates are released, people can figure out what the original vulnerabilities were even without a disclosure from the vendor or PoC because you can simply diff i.
In open source projects such as OpenJDK this is particularly easy, but even for proprietary software like Windows it is possible to disassemble the files. By continuing to use outdated software, you are putting yourself at a grave security risk. Granted, nobody likes being bothered with updates, but it is just foolish to use software containing known vulnerabilities.
Now, some software vendors may require you to use an older version of Java. That should be very rare, because Java updates are highly backward-compatible. But if a vendor does require you to use an older version, Java has controls where you can use an older version for a specific program but use the latest version for anything else.
In any case, if you are using software that requires a particular old Java version, it is poorly written software and the vendor is being irresponsible to not fix it. If at all possible, switch to a program from a competent vendor. My best guesses on why the negative ratings to that post: Ignorance of the truth and sheer foolishness. Poor reading skills misunderstanding what the writer intended. Rating the wrong response? When installing Java updates, by default you will also be installing the Ask toolbar and making Ask your default search engine, unless you untick the check box.
I can only think that they are paid to do this. But as RocketMotorTest says, you should enable updates for security reasons. Petition Oracle to stop bunding Ask toolbar: I cancel the install and soon after it comes back again. My preference has always been to check for updates to Java using other methods, either a manual check or else via a third part software update checker.
I also prefer to fully remove any trace of Java from my machine before installing a new version of Java. Old habits die hard I suppose. It requires some setting up and knowledge of toolbar executable file names. Basically you can use it to automatically block the installation of unwanted toolbars that come bundled with programs. However the program itself is perfectly safe to use if you can find a safe download link! It will allow programs that attempt to install toolbars to install cleanly without the toolbar and without aborting the installation.
Searching for the Fahmy Corporation brings up: Yes it does and all of the download links are misleading. Set up any executable file name for unwanted toolbars and set the program to hijack the process with a fake message when it tries to run.
It will block toolbar installers completely even if run with admin privileges. Yes - you can rely on your security software to block toolbar installation in some cases but in most cases it requires the user to make a choice and to block the installation which usually results in the entire program failing to install.
Examples of some toolbar installer names to block: I already get enough spam mail and telemarketer calls to stay away from this one. Thanks but no thanks. I suggest you remove all traces of Java, remove via control panel including deleting the directories if anything is left behind and download the full install file 30 some megs rather than the online installer. That said, Java can be a security threat, and if you do not need Java, do not install it on your personal computer.
If Java is not installed and you come across a website or program that requires it, you will be prompted to install it at that time. I suggest that you only install Java from the official website. When installing Java, set it to automatically update. Since Java runs on PCs and Macs, hackers can write Java programs that can infect most every computer surfing the Internet today. Keeping Java current and patched is critical to computer security. If it is installed, do not uninstall it, just keep it updated.
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