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    Just passed through a full week in DefCon-2 mode, still taming the work overload.

About Me

About Me


Who am I ?
Informatics Systems Engineer (BSc, MSc), Machine Learning & Medical Imaging researcher (PhD), working professionally as IS/IT and R&D consultant, academic teacher in the private sector, part-time software developer, full-year scuba diver and underwater photographer.

Warning: This website is just another typical personal homepage, with lots of boring stuff about my interests and work. I tried my best to make it a useful portal for students and colleagues with similar interests, but don't stay long if you start feeling a headache.

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  • Scientific blogging: Is it worth it?
    Web 2.0 technologies have enabled the merging of different types of publications into one, the Internet, with millions of authors and billions of readers. Science is not an exception. Countless articles are presented in the...
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    Ok, let’s say you left home this morning for an important meeting and, when you got there, you discovered that you have left the presentation file and the whole USB stick plugged on the PC...
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    A few months ago I decided it was time to replace my old laptop. It is an Acer Aspire 1302 series, with AMD AthlonXP @ 1.6 GHz, 512 MB RAM and 20 GB hard disk....
Security Alert: Emergency turn-off of web Java now mandatory
Written by Harris Georgiou   
Monday, 28 January 2013 00:00

Inormally do not put emergency security alerts in this pages, but due to the severity of this event, I thought that everyone should be warned as soon as possible:

"Oracle releases emergency Java patch; experts warn flaws may take 2 years to fix" (networkworld.com)

Security Alert: Emergency turn-off of web Java now mandatory

Unfortunately, it seems that the worst fears about Java’s severe security holes have now become true.

Since the exploits are already included in various publicly available exploit kits (e.g. “Blackhole”) and the problems can not be fully addressed for the next 12-24 months, the best options right now are, from most drastic (and secure) to the mildest (and more dangerous):

  • uninstall Java completely, if not required on any Internet-connected device
  • disable web Java (JRE) in the browsers, from the Java control panel
  • leave web Java enabled, but disable the related plug-ins in the browsers
  • leave web Java enabled, as well as the plug-ins, but review every prompt carefully

The last option relies only on the fact that the latest patch (7u11) from Oracle sets the default security level to "high", so every Java applet will trigger a dialog prompt for the user before it is executed. Keep in mind, though, that this is the most dangerous option, since it takes one single successful attack to breach local security and enable full remote access to the device (not just infect it with some virus or spyware).

Status update (1-Feb-2013): "Oracle Responds to Java Security Flaws with 50 Fixes" (new version: "7u13")

Status update (2-Mar-2013): "New Java 0-Day Vulnerability Being Exploited In the Wild" (latest versions: "6u41/7u15")

Last Updated on Sunday, 24 March 2013 17:10
 
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