Over the last few days, some Mac users found themselves unable to run any Java-based programs as Apple blocked Java after concern about its security – some security analysts believe it’ll remain vulnerable for at least two years. Even the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has got involved, suggesting that people block Java from running in web browsers, where it’s most vulnerable to ‘drive-by’ exploits.
Apple has the ability to send out blacklists to any Mac that’s connected to the internet that will prevent any applications on the list from being run. Currently the latest version of Java is blocked on the latest version of OS X. And Java 6 is blocked from running on Snow Leopard. This block affects the web plugin, preventing people from using certain online games and programs.
Should Apple have the right to block certain applications from running? Arguably it should, so those who aren’t too up to date with technology news aren’t unknowingly leaving their computer open to exploits. Sure some users knew this and were already taking cautionary measures (such as not allowing the Java plugin to run on shadier websites) but most aren’t. If Apple wants to keep their ‘virus safe’ marketing slogan, they need to be proactive at defending their computers from potential viruses.