Thursday, October 20, 2016

Firefox Version 49.0.2 Released with Security Updates

FirefoxMozilla sent Firefox Version 49.0.2 to the release channel today.  The update includes two (2) high security updates and a number of changes and fixes.

The security fixes are for CVE-2016-5287 and CVE-2016-5287.  Detailed information about the security updates is available at Security vulnerabilities fixed in Firefox 49.0.2 — Mozilla.

The next scheduled release is November 8, 2016.

Firefox ESR will continue to ship point releases on the same day that Firefox ships and can be downloaded from here. The ESR version remains at 45.4.0.


  • Asynchronous rendering of the Flash plugins is now enabled by default. This should improve performance and reduce crashes for sites that use the Flash plugin. (Bug 1307108)


    • Change D3D9 default fallback preference to prevent graphical artifacts (Bug 1306465)
    • Network issue prevents some users from seeing the Firefox UI on startup (Bug 1305436)
    • Web compatibility issue with Array.prototype.values (Bug 1299593)
    • Various security fixes
    • Web compatibility issue with file uploads (Bug 1306472)



      To get the update now, select "Help" from the Firefox menu at the upper left of the browser window, then pick "About Firefox."  Mac users need to select "About Firefox" from the Firefox menu. If you do not use the English language version, Fully Localized Versions are available for download.


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

        Tuesday, October 18, 2016

        Critical Oracle Java Security Update Plus Important FTC Notice


        Oracle released the scheduled critical security updates for its Java SE Runtime Environment software and, once again, released two versions.  Java SE 8u111 includes important security fixes and Java SE 8u112 is a patch-set update, including all of 8u111 plus the additional features described in the release notes.

        The update contains (seven) 7 new critical security fixes for Oracle Java SE.  All of these vulnerabilities may be remotely exploitable without authentication, i.e., may be exploited over a network without requiring user credentials.

        Important FTC Notice

        In addition to the critical security updates, an important notice has been provided by Oracle (available here) regarding an FTC lawsuit against Oracle due to the old practice of not removing vulnerable versions of Java when updates were released. As explained in Java, The Never-Ending Saga, it wasn't until JRE SE 6u11, that the update mechanism for Java was finally changed to remove the previous install. However, it did not remove installations prior to update 10.  As a result, computers with earlier versions of Java SE were/are still vulnerable to the security risks corrected in later versions.

        In the event you still need Java installed on your computer, step-by-step instructions are available for uninstalling Java covering operating systems from Windows ME through Windows 10.  See Instructions for Uninstalling 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 8u111

        Java SE 8u112 can be found here.  Select the appropriate version for your operating system.

        Verify your version:

        • Minimally, 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.  Preferably, see the instructions below on how to handle "Unwanted Extras". 
        • 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:
        • 17 January 2017
        • 18 April 2017
        • 18 July 2017 
        • 17 October 2017

        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).

        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


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

        Tuesday, October 11, 2016

        Microsoft Security Bulletin Release for October, 2016

        The updates this month begin the new "patch rollup" for Windows 7 and 8.1 as well as Server 2008 and 2012.

        Simply stated, on the second Tuesday of each month, "Patch Tuesday, rather than individual KB articles, there will be one  security monthly rollup.  The update includes new security fixes along with the security fixes from previous monthly rollups, available from Windows Update.

        As explained in How to prepare for the Windows 7/8.1 ‘patchocalypse’,

        "The most important note for most Windows Update users: You don’t have to change anything. The Automatic Update settings (that is, Automatically download and install, Download but let me choose when to install, Notify but don’t download, or Never check) work as they always have. The “Give me recommended updates the same way I receive important updates” check box works as it has before -- if Microsoft tags an update as “Recommended” and this box is checked, the update appears checked (ready to install) in the Windows Update list. If that box is unchecked, the update appears as unchecked in the Optional category." 
        For complete, albeit confusing, details, the changes are described in More on Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 servicing changes – Windows for IT Pros.  

        October Security Update Details:

        Microsoft released ten (10) bulletins.  Five (5) bulletins are identified as Critical, four (4) as Important and one (1) rated Moderate in severity

        The updates address vulnerabilities in Microsoft Windows, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, Microsoft Office, Microsoft Office Services and Web Apps, Microsoft .NET Framework, Skype for Business, Microsoft Lync as well as Adobe Flash Player for Windows 8.1 and above. 

        Addressed in the updates are Remote Code Execution, Elevation of Privilege and Information Disclosure.

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

        • MS16-118 -- Cumulative Security Update for Internet Explorer (392887)
        • MS16-119 -- Cumulative Security Update for Microsoft Edge (3192890)
        • MS16-120 -- Security Update for Microsoft Graphics Component (3192884)
        • MS16-122 -- Security Update for Microsoft Video Control (3195360)
        • MS16-127 -- Security Update for Adobe Flash Player (3194343)
        • MS16-121 -- Security Update for Microsoft Office (3194063)
        • MS16-123 -- Security Update for Windows Kernel-Mode Drivers (3192892)
        • MS16-124 -- Security Update for Windows Registry (3193227)
        • MS16-125 -- Security Update for Diagnostics Hub (3193229)
        • MS16-126 -- Security Update for Microsoft Internet Messaging API (3196067)

          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...