Internet news outlets and other IT alert services are publishing information regarding a serious vulnerability with Java 7. Java is used by some websites and web services, including TTU Blackboard and Banner INB.
While the continued use of these and other TTU Java-enabled web applications is still safe, the TTU IT Division warns that due to the announced vulnerability, other Java-enabled websites on the internet could be infected with malicious code. Visiting an infected website and executing its Java applet can result in complete compromise of your computer, including the exposure or loss of any confidential or personal information stored therein.
To best protect yourself from this and other computer vulnerabilities, the IT Division recommends following Safe Computing Practices including:
- Do not click on links contained within an email unless you are certain of the sender’s identity and expecting the information;
- Do not open email attachments unless you are certain of the sender’s identity and expecting the information - delete and do not reply to any of these emails;
- Be wary of visiting unknown or untrusted websites, or clicking on advertisements or search engine results;
- Update your desktop, laptop, and/or mobile device anti-virus software; and
- Keep current on critical system updates:
Windows Users: http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com
Mac Users: Use Software Update in System Preferences
Some departments and users may wish to consider disabling Java entirely if they know Java is not needed on their systems, at least until Oracle Corp. releases a patch to correct the vulnerability. IT Help Central has created an AskIT article which provides additional information and assistance for local IT support personnel and advanced users who wish to disable Java, found at https://www.askit.ttu.edu/portal/guestviewsolution.jsp?solutionid=130111164630482.
Please note that Java 6 and earlier are believed to be unaffected (although these earlier versions have other vulnerabilities). The TTU IT Division will send a follow up announcement when a solution becomes available from Oracle Corp.
For further assistance or questions, please contact IT Help Central at (806) 742-4357 (HELP), or at firstname.lastname@example.org.