At the official Internet Explorer Team Blog, Microsoft announced that it will soon be releasing an update to the Internet Explorer that will block old Java versions for security purposes.

The old Java versions involved are outdated ActiveX controls, which are small apps that allow users to access content on websites such as games and videos and to interact with components such as toolbars.

ActiveX controls are not updated automatically, which makes them prone to becoming outdated when new versions come along. Outdated ActiveX controls are security threats because malicious and hacked websites are able to target the security flaws contained within the controls. Once the hackers have exploited the outdated controls, they can begin to harvest data, install damaging software, or control your computer from where they are operating.

The update will be released on Aug. 12. 

The latest Microsoft Security Intelligence Report reveals that exploits on Java systems make up 84.6 percent to 98.5 percent of all detections related to exploit kits per month last year. The exploits will have received fixes in later versions, but upgrades are not made by most users.

The update will add a new security measure to the Internet Explorer known as out-of-date ActiveX control blocking, which will effectively address the problem.

The security feature informs the user when the browser stops a website from loading outdated ActiveX controls, while allowing the user to continue to use the other components of the website that are not affected by the outdated controls. 

The security feature is also capable of updating the outdated ActiveX controls in the user's system, along with keeping track of the collection of ActiveX controls that the user's organization is using.

Out-of-date ActiveX control blocking is compatible with Internet Explorer versions 8 to 11 on Windows 7 Service Pack 1 and Internet Explorer for Windows 9 and up. 

The feature also works with all security zones such as the Internet zone, but it does not work with the local intranet zone and trusted sites zone. The feature will not warn users or block any outdated ActiveX controls in these two zones.

"By helping consumers stay up-to-date-and enabling IT to better manage ActiveX controls, including those that are compatible with Enhanced Protected Mode-Microsoft is helping customers stay safer online. This is another example of delivering on the promise to help get users current with a safer, more secure Internet Explorer," wrote Microsoft on the blog post. 

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