Recently, Mozilla decided to blocklist older versions of the Java plug-in. Unfortunately, this doesn't work well with some internal applications we are using.

Does any know if there is a workaround? Perhaps a way to unblock the plug-in for certain domains?

I've scoured Google. We're using the most up to date Firefox.

Relevant blog post

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    The affected Java versions are potentially insecure for use. Update your internal applications to work with the updated JRE. Everything else should be discouraged IMHO. – Der Hochstapler Apr 4 '12 at 12:57
  • The current malware activity and OS X are a good sample of what's in store for those who for bad reasons, decide to stay with old Java versions. Go Flashback... – Fiasco Labs Apr 5 '12 at 2:21
  • What happens to a bunch of consumer PCs is not an issue to an enterprise application in a managed environment and group policy rules. Firefox apparently is seriously lacking in enterprise experience. – JOTN Apr 6 '12 at 1:55

Another update from Mozilla changed the block from a 'hard' block to a 'soft' block.

There is also the extensions.blocklist.enable setting that can be changed in about:config.

More details and instructions for reloading the blocklist here: http://blog.mozilla.com/addons/2012/04/04/update-on-java-blocklist/

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  • When did this change go in because two hours ago it didn't work. How do you deploy an about:config change to thousands of clients? Does a "soft" block still prompt the user? – JOTN Apr 4 '12 at 23:06
  • @JOTN the article is brand new at the time I wrote the response, so it's possible it wouldn't have worked 2 hours ago. There is info for mass deployment here, never had to use it myself so don't know how well it works. There is also the option of updating prefs.js in Firefox's profile directory, perhaps a script can be run on many machines to do this. – prunge Apr 4 '12 at 23:20
  • I'll have to try it tomorrow. It's good to hear they backed down but I suspect the reputation damage is irreversible. It will be hard to get anyone to trust them again in an enterprise environment. – JOTN Apr 4 '12 at 23:23
  • Nope, still doesn't work. I've already moved things to chrome anyway. It's kind of the last straw in the slow degradation of Firefox quality anyway. – JOTN Apr 6 '12 at 2:02

The only option appears to be ditch Firefox. Even if there was a work around, it's just not acceptable that a browser vendor decides to tell you what you're allowed to run and break most ERP applications out there. Google got pounded for this and added options for enterprise users. Why Firefox didn't learn from that I have no idea.

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    Because the alternative is that developers (stupidly) link to a specific version of Java, (stupidly) expose users to security risks by installing compromised versions of Java, then blame the browser or OS vendor when the system is compromised. – EKW Apr 4 '12 at 21:04
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    You have to run a certified application stack. All new versions of stack components are fully tested BEFORE being installed. You can't afford to throw out a version and idle a couple thousand employees. Fully testing big application takes a while. The only option here is close down your company or ditch firefox. – JOTN Apr 4 '12 at 21:08
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    The problem is that you're then risking the security of your entire organisation, as well as the security of both internal and external customer data. Since this is slowly becoming illegal, I'd recommend updating development practices rather than recklessly endangering clients (and indeed, the company's bank accounts). – EKW Apr 4 '12 at 21:11
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    I'm not arguing against testing. By all means, test. But if the software doesn't work when you apply a minor-version update, it wasn't written properly to begin with. – EKW Apr 4 '12 at 22:41
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    Testing take 4 months. Firefox says you have to use a 2 week old Java version. Firefox or testing has to be eliminated. There's no other logical options. – JOTN Apr 4 '12 at 23:03

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