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Security updates released for ColdFusion 2021 and 2023, Nov 14 2023

Just a heads-up for my readers that there was an important security update released today by Adobe for ColdFusion 2023 (update 6) and 2021 (update 12). (Users of previous versions should note that those are no longer updated, not even for security fixes).

If you apply the update using the CF Admin and then find that CF starts but the Admin and your code fail, I cover that also, in the second section below.

For more, read on.

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Solving failure in applying latest CF updates, or avoiding that failure

If you try to apply ColdFusion updates (including the latest released Oct 6) via the CF admin or command line and find that the update fails, the problem may be due to the JVM you're using (within CF or at the command line). There's a simple solution, which I discuss in this post.

TLDR; If you've configured either CF2021's java home to use Java 11.0.20 or later, or CF2023's java home to use 17.0.8 or later, you may find that applying CF updates ia the Admin will fail. You can apply the update via the command line, adding a needed new jvm arg:
(to be placed BEFORE the -jar arg) in the java -jar ... command, as I discuss more in the 5th bullet point below. (If I've lost you with that simple suggested, read the rest here. And all may benefit reading what precedes that suggestion, for context. I also offer other suggestions and info.)

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Testing if a port can be reached, using built-in tools other than 'good old telnet'

Have you ever wanted to test (from the command line) whether a port on another machine can be reached from yours? When some app of your can't seem to connect to a given port, you may want to test things from the command line. (The problem may be that the service using that port has stopped or is blocked by a firewall--it may be that you're mistaken in the port you are trying to use, or perhaps even the ip address, domain name, or machine name.)

There are in fact many tools which can help with this task, some of which will be familiar to those on *nix systems, but Windows users who've been around a while (or who learned from such folks) may try to rely on the good ol' telnet command (as in telnet [machine] [port]). Unfortunately, they often find out how Microsoft has disabled that tool by default for over a decade (since Windows Vista), and while it can be easily enabled, they may be prevented or understandably reluctant to do that.

In this post, I want to show a couple of command-line alternatives which can do the job easily, one best suited for powershell users (Test-NetConnection), and and two of which would suit those who prefer the command line (cmd) and which are now built-into Windows (the past few years): ssh and curl. No, this is not their primary job but they will suit for this task and it may surprise some to learn they're even built-in options. I'll conclude with still other options available to those on *nix environments (who of course can also use ssh and curl), especially nc (netcat).

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ColdFusion updates for CF2023 and CF2021 released Aug 17 2023: resources and thoughts

Adobe has released today an important security update for each of ColdFusion 2023 and 2021. (Since CF2018 is end of life since July, there is no update for that version.) Note that while the technotes for the updates don't mention/link to any Adobe product security bulletin (APSB), this update is indeed an update that provides important security protections, as I discuss further below.

For more resources as well as some additional thoughts on the updates (including what security matter it entails as well as some lessons learned in applying the update--especially if you may update your Java to the JVM released last month), read on.

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Recording posted and PDF updated for my presentation on CF Scheduled Tasks

Last week, I presented a talk at the online Hawaii CF Meetup, "CF Scheduled Tasks: More than you may know, and should".

The recording has been posted.

Also, I have updated the PDF, since giving the talk (Fri Jul 28). I not only corrected a couple of typos and improved some wording and organization, but I also have added some new links and content.

Both those links are offered on my presentations page, where I offer info and links for every one of my nearly 170 CF talks over the past 25 years--most of which I daresay would still be useful to many even today.

FusionReactor 10.0.2 update released Jul 19 2023: resources and thoughts

If you're using FusionReactor, note that a 10.0.2 update was released recently, Jul 19, with a few bug fixes/improvements. (Sorry for the delay in reporting this. This was the week after there were multiple CF updates and a Java update as well.)

I want to draw special attention to the one "new improvement" and one "new feature". (In my posts on past FR updates, I sometimes don't do much more than list the simple bullet points offered in the FR release notes.) See the elaboration on these two things below.

For more on the update, as well as help on installing such FR updates, read on.

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My meta resource page about updating CF, the Java underlying it, the wsconfig, and more

With all the recent updates to CF (and the ongoing need to keep up and related things up-to-date), I wanted to share some news: I've long had on my site a meta resource page regarding keeping ColdFusion updated, where I offered both links and tips related to updating CF as well as the JVM underlying CF, the web server connector(wsconfig), the CF PMT, FusionReactor, CF Builder (old Eclipse and new VSCode versions) and even Lucee.

It's been on my site as my "CFUpdate" page (linked to from my old-school top-level nav bar), and I've kept the page updated. [Hey, updating my meta resource on updates. That's SO meta!]

But I suspect a lot of people may never find it for one reason or another, so I wanted to offer a link to it here.

Check it out, and I welcome comments or feedback here.

Delighted to be speaking again at Adobe ColdFusion Summit 2023

I'm delighted to announce that I've been selected to speak again (for the 11th straight year) at the upcoming Adobe CF Summit conference, to be held in Las Vegas October 2-3.

I'll be offering my traditional "Hidden Gems in ColdFusion 2023" talk.

And see the conference web site for other speakers and their Summit sessions (with more to come).

Besides just being a great conference (in terms of content as well as meeting fellow attendees, Adobe folks, and vendors), which is being offered in-person only and at a VERY reasonable price of only US$199, the Summit is also a great chance for folks to pursue Adobe CF Certification (offered both online and in a separate one-day workshop the day after the conference, Oct 4, for just $100 more).

Note also that qualified students can attend the Summit for free. That's a great nod to Adobe supporting CF in higher education and among emerging developers.

Beware you can't install CF updates via the CF Admin after Jul 2023 JVM update

Be aware: if you update ColdFusion to run using the latest JVM updates (released July 18, 2023), you will encounter challenges, which have solutions as I describe here.

You will find that you can no longer INSTALL CF updates via the CF admin, if CF is using this new Java version. And even if the CF update is run from the command line, if using this newer Java version that also will fail. In either case, there is a new JVM argument that solved the problem, as I discuss below.

This is happening in CF2023, 2021, and 2018. (And this may continue to happen with future JVM updates, until Adobe otherwise addresses the problem.)

As an update, when I first created this post on Jul 21, another problem was that you would find that you could no longer use the CF Administrator to download CF updates, if CF was runnign this new Java version. You would get an error reporting, "Failed Signature verification"--or in some cases you may see only "error failed". But within a couple of weeks, I found that the CF Admin COULD now download updates (including the August 2023 CF update) but the CF update STILL fails to install correctly, as discussed in this post, unless the workaround offered is used.

FWIW, Adobe has also updated the technotes for CF2021 update 10 and CF2023 update 4 with a text box at the top that acknowledges this issue and points to this post for more detail.

In this post, I explain a) what this is all about, then b) how you can fix the problem of INSTALLING the update using the CF Admin, I'll explain how it seems we HAVE to workaround that problem (for now). I also offer a link to a bug report I've filed. I even offer a thought on how this new JVM update may prove over time to affect MORE than just this, and even MORE than just CF (and Lucee) but many java apps. Read on for more.

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A third Priority 1 CF security update has been released, Jul 19 2023

Just days after two P1 CF security updates were released on Jul 11 and 14, Adobe has released yet another on Jul 19.

Yes, this is shocking. Yes, unless there's a good explanation, I can understand how many would feel "someone on the CF team should be flogged". Don't shoot me: I'm just the messenger. I don't work for Adobe.

But I will add that in this post, besides just sharing news about the update (and more than JUST pointing to the update), I also offer an ADDITIONAL "fix" some will want to consider, to go BEYOND what this update addresses. See the discussion on "blocking the _cfclient query string".

Read on for more, where I cover:

  • Finding more info on this update
  • A suggestion on blocking the _cfclient query string
  • News for those doing manual offline installs: this update DOES have a zip
  • As for doing a Java update along with this update
  • CF2018 WAS indeed also updated

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