The biggest security headache for Java users has been “Java Applets” that run inside many browsers. Oracle has finally announced the end of support for plugins in the next big release of Java.
All of this has no effect on the My Docs Online Desktop App, which does not use plugin technology, but instead relies on the recommended “Java Web Start”.
There’s been a lot of news of late regarding Java Applet vulnerabilities. The usual scenario is a link in a phishing email leads the unsuspecting victim to a hacker website that uses unpatched security flaws in Java Applet plugins to compromise the user’s PC. Some commentators are advising you disable Java Applet Plugins in whatever browser you use.
If you choose to disable Java Applets in your web browser will it cause the Java-based My Docs Online Desktop App to stop working?
The short answer is: No, it will not. You can disable Java applets and still use the Desktop App.
Java applets are browser plugins or extensions that run inside your browser (Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, Safari…).
The Desktop App is a Java application and does not run inside the browser. We also authenticate the application with a secure digital signature.
If you turn off Java applets in your browser for security reasons it will have no effect on your ability to run the Desktop App.
The most recent Java auto-update through OS X (Leopard) is causing some problems with Java Web Start, the program used to launch the MDO Transporter program. If you’ve gone through the update and your Java Web Start is no longer available it means that the update wasn’t completely successful.
A symptom of this is trying to launch a Java Web Start Application (Transporter for My Docs users) and having it open something that looks like a text file.
Fortunately there is a fairly simple solution to the problem. You can manually re-install the Java Update from this Apple location
Let us know through the comments here if this doesn’t work for you.