Although it’s rapidly losing its relevance, Java still poses a security risk for any computer on which it’s installed. Java’s dangers are significantly lower now than in the past, because of all the major browsers, only Internet Explorer still runs Java code. All the others have stopped supporting Java completely.
Those of you still using Java, especially in Internet Explorer, should install Java 8 Update 151, because it includes fixes for twenty-two security vulnerabilities.
The easiest way to update Java is to visit the official Verify Java Version page, which will provide an update link if you’re running an out of date version.
If you want to test your web browser’s performance and memory management, just point it to the full change log for Chrome 62.0.3202.62. It’s a behemoth, documenting over ten thousand distinct changes.
Given the number of changes in Chrome 62.0.3202.62, I decided to skip reading the log and trust that Google would point out anything interesting in the release announcement.
The announcement for Chrome 62.0.3202.62 documents thirty-five fixes for security vulnerabilities, so clearly this is an important update. As for the other changes, Google says only this:
Chrome 62.0.3202.62 contains a number of fixes and improvements — a list of changes is available in the log. Watch out for upcoming Chrome and Chromium blog posts about new features and big efforts delivered in 62.
Chrome usually updates itself within a few days of a new release. You can trigger an update by navigating to the About page: click the three-vertical-dots menu button, then
About Google Chrome.
On October 9, Mozilla released Firefox 56.0.1, which is notable in that it’s the first version that will automatically upgrade 32-bit Firefox to 64-bit Firefox. The 64-bit version has been available for a while, but Mozilla chose to hold off automatically upgrading 32-bit installs to 64-bit until now.
As usual, there was no announcement for Firefox 56.0.1 from Mozilla. Not even CERT helped here, since the new version doesn’t contain any security fixes. I learned about the new version when Firefox itself prompted me to upgrade on October 18, more than a week after the release.
On the positive side, the upgrade from 32- to 64-bit Firefox on my Windows 8.1 computer worked flawlessly. Somewhat oddly, the 64-bit version installed in the same directory as the 32-bit version:
C:\Program Files (x86)\Mozilla Firefox. On 64-bit versions of Windows, 64-bit applications usually get installed in
C:\Program Files. Regardless, I haven’t experienced any new problems or strange behaviour, and my old Firefox shortcuts still work. According to Mozilla, the 64-bit version of Firefox is demonstrably more stable and secure.
Firefox 56.0.1 includes a single bug fix, unrelated to security.