Game of Thrones cancelled? Beware bogus Java update

A message has been spread between Facebook users claiming that the hit TV series “Game of Thrones” has been cancelled.

Knowing just how many people are avid watchers of the fantasy series, it’s hard to imagine that many wouldn’t be tempted to click on a link like this if it appeared in their newsfeed:

Message spread on Facebook

Game of thrones season 5 cancelled

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Popular Drama Game of thrones will officially end at season 4 – read more here


In this case, however, clicking on the link will take you to a webpage that attempts to convince you that your computer’s copy of the Java plugin is out-of-date, and that you should install a new one.

The webpage (very helpfully) offers you a free download of Java Version 7 Update 25.

Bogus Java update

However, your alarm bells should be ringing.

Even if Java Version 7 Update 25 was the latest version of Java (which it isn’t – at the time of writing, Java Version 7 is at Update 60, and Java version 8 is at Update 5), you should always be wary of downloading updates from anything other than the official website.

Chances are that this download is malicious, and designed to infect your computer.

In Java’s case, remember you can always get the latest update from the Oracle website.

Although, on reflection, in Java’s case you might be wiser to simply never install Java at all.

Many computer users simply do not require it, at the very least most do not need it enabled in their browser. If you do have Java enabled, you are increasing the chances of hackers being able to exploit one of the commonly-found security holes in the software, and silently infect your computer.

Oh, and ask yourself this.

Would the makers of “Game of Thrones” really be keen to cancel their series after only four seasons?

It’s been a critical hit and a big moneyspinner for HBO. It’s not as if the show hasn’t managed to prove it can exist even after key members of the cast have come to a grisly end… </spoilers>

If you are on Facebook, and want to be kept updated with news about security and privacy risks, and tips on how to protect yourself online, join the Graham Cluley Security News Facebook page.

Hat-tip: Thanks to @achrispace for bringing this message spreading on Facebook to my attention.

Graham Cluley is an award-winning keynote speaker who has given presentations around the world about cybersecurity, hackers, and online privacy. A veteran of the computer security industry since the early 1990s, he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows, makes regular media appearances, and is the co-host of the popular "Smashing Security" podcast. Follow him on Twitter, Mastodon, Threads, Bluesky, or drop him an email.

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