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New updates released for Java 8, 11, 17, and 18 as of Jul 19 2022

Here's a heads-up that some will want to hear about: there are new JVM updates released today (Jul 19, 2022) for the current long-term support (LTS) releases of Oracle Java, 8, 11, and 17, as well as the new interim update 18. (Note that prior to Java 9, releases of Java were known technically as 1.x, so 8 is referred to in resources below as 1.8.)

TLDR: The new updates are 1.8.0_341, (aka 8u341), 11.0.16, 17.0.4, and 18.0.1 respectively). And as is generally the case with these Java updates, most of them have the same changes and fixes as each other (though not always).

Oracle calls them "critical patch updates" (yep, CPU), but they are scheduled quarterly updates, so take that "critical" nomenclature for what it is. For more on each of them, including what changed and the several security fixes they each contain (including their CVE scores regarding urgency of concerns), see the Oracle resources I list below. I also a bit more if you may be skipping to this from a JVM update from before Apr 2021, as well as info for Adobe ColdFusion users on where to find the updated Java versions, what JVM versions Adobe CF supports, and more.

For some folks, that's all they need to hear. For others, read on for topics like:

  • Finding more info on these Jul 2022 Java updates
  • News for my CF audience (getting the Java updates from Adobe or Oracle, how to update, why you should NOT for now use Java 17, etc)
  • Should you apply the update? how soon?
  • Beware a change in the April 2021 JVM update, if you may be skipping over it
  • Wrapping up, getting more help

Finding more info on these Jul 2022 Java updates

First, see the technotes for each of 1.8.0_341, 11.0.16, and 17.0.4, and 18.0.2.

Second, see the Java security fixes in these Jul 2022 updates or Text Form of Risk Matrix for Oracle Java SE. (As of today, that second link is not working, but even in April it wasn't there immediately but was there in time.) Note that both those documents cover all Oracle products, but I have linked to the Java-specific sections of the pages.

Finally, see the listing of specific bug fixes in each update, as offered in a link at the bottom of those update technotes for each release above.

If you are not using Adobe ColdFusion, you can skip the next section.

News for my CF audience

Since the focus of my blog and work is indeed mostly focused on those using Adobe ColdFusion, I will clarify for them that:

  • The Adobe downloads page for CF-related installers DOES now have the updated Java downloads in its bottom section. (It did not have them when I wrote this post, and indeed it has sometimes taken several days, causing confusion and heartburn, though more recently they've been there within a day or two of their release.)
  • Whereas prior to May 2022, they offered a drop-down of versions at the bottom of that page, now they just list each version on its own, which is nice. (The drop-down was often out of order or not fully updated.)
  • Of course, the Oracle site does of course always have the new downloads the day they come out, for all the current versions on this one page. You do need to sign in there to obtain them. And while some assert that CF folks "must use those from the CF downloads page", I've confirmed in the past that the installers are binary the same (at least for the identical build number, which may change on the Oracle site though not the Adobe site), which includes the Java license, so I can't see how anyone could assert that it matters WHERE you get the same installer.

As for keeping posted on updates, as a CFer (other than my blog posts or news shared from others), note that if you use Pete Freitag's wonderful HackmyCF service, he generally gets it updated within the day or two of the release of a new JVM version, warning if you are not running that latest supported Java version for your given CF version.

As for keeping track of what CF versions support what Java versions:

  • See first a past blog post I've done with a table of what CF versions formally support what Oracle Java versions.
  • While Java 17 is indeed a new long-term support release for Java, so too are Java 8 and 11 still LTS releases. And ColdFusion 2021 and 2018 (the currently supported CF versions) do NOT yet support Java 17. They only support Java 11. (While CF2018 did support Java 12 for a time, that version lived only for 6 months, like all version between 11 and 17, so Adobe did not "keep up" with all those short-term versions.) We can expect a coming update to CF 2021 (and hopefully 2018) to add support for Java 17, as has been the pattern in the past. (CF2016 supported Java 8 or 11, depending on what CF update had been applied. More on CF2016 in a later bullet point here.)
  • As for Java 18 and other short-term updates that follow it (like updates 12-16 had been), being an interim update I do not expect Adobe will be updating to support it (like they did not offer CF updates to support the interim updates before 17)
  • And in a post I did on the Apr 2019 jvm updates (which I point to in that "table" post), I cover such things as how CF only formally supports Oracle Java and not others, the short-lived Java 12 support, and more.
  • Finally, if you are on older, unsupported versions of CF (CF2016 or earlier) or Java (older updates to Java 11 or 8, or Java 7 or earlier), you are playing a dangerous game of Russian Roulette. You may not have been struck yet, but in Oct 2021 I offered a post about a nasty ransomware vulnerability hitting those who had failed to update CF with a fix Adobe had provided years ago! Even CF2016, last updated in March 2021, does not have security fixes in the updates for CF2018 and 2021 that Adobe released in Sept 2021, and any beyond. Don't be "that person", still running such older CF versions.

As for how you would go about updating Java within CF:

  • There are varying steps depending on how you installed CF (or Lucee, where it also depends on whether you're running it on Tomcat as a service ), and so on
  • I'll note that if you're using Commandbox, it can update the JVM automatically if you like)
  • Otherwise, I have various resources I've created (blog posts, presentations) discussing especially updating CF and the JVM within CF, and these are covered at my cfupdate page.

I can also offer direct remote consulting help. See the bottom section here.

Should you apply the update? how soon?

(This and the next section apply whether one may be using CF or not.)

As whether you "should" apply this JVM update (going from some earlier point release of a given version to another), of course each org has to decide for themselves whether the security fixes bug fixes, and any feature changes are of concern for them. Some folks/orgs tend to wait for some period of time to "let others be the guinea pigs", while others are concerned about security and so apply any new update with security fixes right away.

Of course, the best approach is to try things in a testing environment first, but many eschew that (for any of many reasons, at their peril). Even then, of course some problems don't show themselves in testing but only in production.

As noted in the security page above, even if you may not think you "need the changes in this update", do beware that you would be vulnerable to problems fixed in PREVIOUS updates. So it's always best to be on the latest update to the JVM version (like Java 8 or 11) you're using, as soon as possible.

Indeed, I'll share that the Oracle security technotes above speak of how the fixes included in this update address vulns in the immediately preceding point release, which could mislead some. They may think, "oh, well since I am not ON that immediately preceding update, then I don't need this update!". No, no, no. You'd really need to look at the technotes for THAT preceding point release and so on--all the preceding ones, back to the point release you ARE now running--to decide if these updates to that version "affect you". But really, for most people, they should just stay updated, for the sake of ensuring they have all the latest security updates and bug fixes.

Beware a change in the April 2021 JVM update, if you may be skipping over it

Finally, I want to point out that if you may be moving to this JVM update from an older one from before the JVM updates released in April 2021 (Java 11.0.11 and 1.8.0_291, respectively), do note that when you apply this update you will therefore inherit a rather important change that was introduced in those updates (and which remains, after them.)

Briefly, Java now no longer supports calling out (via https/tls) to servers that don't support at least TLS 1.2 or above. If you may be calling out to servers (via cfhttp or Java's httpclient, or via configuration of the CF Admin pointing to database servers, mail server, ldap servers, and the like), such requests will break upon applying those or later JVM updates, if those servers don't yet support at least TLS 1.2 or above.

Of course, you may not be responsible for and may have no control over those other servers you're calling out to, so you may prefer to tell Java to allow you to keep calling out to those for now. You can do that, via a simple one-line configuration change in a Java configuration file (not JVM args). More in a moment. That said, you are removing a protection that Oracle thinks is in your interest (modern browsers do also warn or even reject attempts to access servers via https if they don't support at least TLS 1.2 or above. This change is about how Java itself reacts to them.)

For more on this Java security change, and that configuration change needed to "undo it", see my post from April 2021 on those JVM updates released then.

Wrapping up, getting more help

Again, for direct help on any of these, I can offer remote screenshare consulting help, and am usually able to quickly fix problems that might take many folks hours to resolve them (if they don't deal with these issues daily like I do, helping people). Or of course, comments and questions are welcome below.

For more content like this from Charlie Arehart: Need more help with problems?
  • If you may prefer direct help, rather than digging around here/elsewhere or via comments, he can help via his online consulting services
  • See that page for more on how he can help a) over the web, safely and securely, b) usually very quickly, c) teaching you along the way, and d) with satisfaction guaranteed
For those who may be interested, the next update after this one is scheduled for Oct 18, 2022. Oracle publishes here the forthcoming quarterly dates (including even into 2023 as I write in Sept 2022):
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