Apple has now discontinued the Java plug-in for Mac OS X. This update does NOT remove Java from your Mac OS X system, if you have it installed – only the Java browser plug-in. Up until recently Apple was responsible for patching Java, mainly because Oracle (the developers behind Java) didn’t have a good history when it came to patching known Java exploits. Anyone remember the Blackhole exploit kit? Also, in some instances the patches themselves had even more security bugs – hence Apple wanting control on Java patch releases.
If you have applied the Java for OS X 2012-006 Version 1.0 update you will have noticed that websites that use Java are now displaying a “Missing Plug-in” notification. Apple Support states that this update is for OS X 10.7 and later versions. The update removes Mac-based browsers of the Java plug-in while also removing the Java Preferences application. Java Preferences is no longer required as the update removes the Java applet setting configuration.
If you don’t see this update, then run > Software Update. You can also check what updates have been installed > System Preferences > Installed Software
Alternatively, if you don’t want to use Java for security reasons, then here are some simple tips – How to uninstall/remove Java: (using popular browsers)
- Uninstall Java or disable the Java browser plugins on Safari and Firefox
- Disable Java in Chrome – copy and paste chrome://plugins/ into the browser bar > hit ‘Return’ and scroll down to Java plugin and click > Disable
- Disable Java in Opera – configure plug-ins to only execute on demand by selecting Opera > Settings -> Preferences… > Advanced > Enable plug-ins only on demand
- Disable Java in Internet Explorer – Tools > Manage add-ons > Scroll down in the right window until you find the two plug-ins: Java(tm) Plug-In 2 SSV Helper and Java(tm) Plug-In SSV Helper > click on one of the above and click ‘Disable’. Both plug-ins should now be disabled. Note: Where it says “Show” click on the drop down and choose > All add-ons – otherwise you will be unable to see ALL add ons
- Use a second browser for say banking or financial websites that use Java (not your primary browser)
For further information on a recent Mac OS X Java exploit, why not check out my last post Latest Apple Mac OS X Java update doesn’t fix exploit.
Safe surfing folks!