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is OpenJDK Vulnerable to 0-Day Exploit?

I read today that the Department of Homeland Security has warned against Java-run systems and requested users to disable/uninstall Java itself.

My questions: Are we in trouble? What about all those applets for network manager and the other stuff on the top right side of our screens? Will they vanish if I remove Java?

I ask because we call them applets so I presume they're done in Java.

Also, how do I know which Java is on my computer?

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Ubuntu only ships OpenJDK as it's not allowed to distribute Oracle's JRE or JDK due to licensing issues. (Oracle does not allow it) –  gertvdijk Jan 12 '13 at 2:32
    
@gertvdijk Thanks for our quick inputs... How would I know if I have OpemJDK or Oracles Java? Over time, I may have installed some updates/upgrades or even a different source. How do I make sure about what I have? Thanks! –  itsols Jan 12 '13 at 2:38
    
That's another question. :) –  gertvdijk Jan 12 '13 at 2:53
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I think the term "applet" is misused here, they mean web applet plugins in Java; the indicators/panel applets in linux usually aren't java. –  Jorge Castro Jan 12 '13 at 4:59
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marked as duplicate by gertvdijk, Eric Carvalho, Jorge Castro, Tom Brossman, fabricator4 Jan 12 '13 at 9:04

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1 Answer

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The Department of Homeland Security has warned about Java and had this suggestion:

Solution

Disable Java in web browsers

This and previous Java vulnerabilities have been widely targeted by attackers, and new Java vulnerabilities are likely to be discovered. To defend against this and future Java vulnerabilities, consider disabling Java in web browsers until adequate updates are available. As with any software, unnecessary features should be disabled or removed as appropriate for your environment.

Starting with Java 7 Update 10, it is possible to disable Java content in web browsers through the Java control panel applet. From Setting the Security Level of the Java Client:

For installations where the highest level of security is required, it is possible to entirely prevent any Java apps (signed or unsigned) from running in a browser by de-selecting Enable Java content in the browser in the Java Control Panel under the Security tab.

If you are unable to update to Java 7 Update 10 please see the solution section of Vulnerability Note VU#636312 for instructions on how to disable Java on a per-browser basis.

Re: Are we in trouble?
It depends on the user's knowledge. This exploit seems to be a social engineering exploit and therefore may need active co-operation of the user to succeed. It's quite possible that a moderately savvy user can retain an active Java and not fall prey to the current exploit.

What about all those applets for network manager and the other stuff on the top right side of our screens? Will they vanish if I remove Java?
Not all applets have to do with Java. Applet could just be a diminutive term. This definition may clear your doubts:

a small application program that can be called up for use while working in another application

Also, how do I know which Java is on my computer?
Check out How can I tell what version of Java I have installed?

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