Computing At The Moment ,  By Joe S.

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If you haven't heard by now, Java was recently and briefly crowned 

" King "  of the exploitables. With Java running, your computer is open to various attacks including but not limited to hacking and data theft, enslavement, remote control, remote programming and tracking. Oracle, Java's parent company,  followed up  with a patch that supposedly addressed no fewer than 46 vulnerability issues with Java. Hmmm, Really. A major player having a signature application in global use with security that is first cousin to Swiss Cheese and it took an outsider to clue them in on it ? That in and of itself is enough reason to dump Java permanently and never invite it OR Oracle back into your computer. Gamers may have to keep it for the time being but I strongly advise NOT keeping personal or business information on the same machine. WARNING : Do NOT confuse " Java " with " Javascript ", they are two different entities, Javascript, while it can be used maliciously - is for the most part, harmless.

Now for the 800 lb. Gorilla. Yep, that's him right over there in the corner.  His name is " UP&P ", Universal Plug And Play and he's a service inherent to every popular operating system with a user interface; Windows, OSX, Lion, Snow Leopard, and most flavors of Linux. The service is switched " ON " by default and is fully integrated into the communications processes of every computer having internet connectivity or wireless communications capability of any kind. This is the core service which allows computers to recognize peripheral devices it may need to connect with. for example : Modems, Routers, Printers, External Drives, Cameras, Local Area Networks - LANs, Virtual Private Networks - VPNs, Local or Network Servers, well - you get the idea . . .  Shutting down this service means manually programming ( hard coding ) communications port assignments for each and every single peripheral device involved with your computer and then making the necessary firewall adjustments and exemptions to multilaterally secure each port. Additionally, peripheral equipment may have it's own set of UP&P programming, rules or default settings to be dealt with.  

     All that being said, given the complex and diverse nature of UP&P amazingly, all through it's developement and deployment phases,  NOT ONCE did it occur to ANYBODY that security might someday become a concern and as such, it now appears that nearly every single facet of UP&P is wide open and vulnerable to even the simplest code exploitation. 

     Right now the authorities and powers that be are exploring various methods for securing what amounts to a potentially disastrous oversight and there is little an end user can do other than wait and hope. If it really became necessary we could manually secure the com ports but I personally would rather be horsewhipped. Unless things really go crazy, your firewall and your wireless key should keep your computing safe for the time being. 

      My ear's to the ground and I'll let you know more as I find out more . . .