Java security issue affects Minecraft servers
Mojang staff encourage players to close the game and install the latest version ASAP
On December 9th, 2021, a log4j Java security issue was discovered which can affect a number of programmes and apps, including Minecraft.
Staff at Minecraft’s Mojang studios, and those working at third-party servers such as PaperMC and Forge, have been working tirelessly to implement patches to fix the problem. As such, players have been advised to close all instances of Minecraft and update to the latest patch if possible. However, this issue only affects online multiplayer or modded Minecraft, and anyone who only plays single-player Vanilla Minecraft shouldn’t worry. Keep reading to find out everything we know about this security issue.
What is the Java security issue?
While not much information has been released about the knock-on effects of the breach, we do know that it is affecting multiplayer servers and Minecraft modpacks. In other words, it seems hackers may be able to gain access to other systems through the chat system in these multiplayer worlds.
Am I affected?
Again, the majority of casual Minecraft players won’t be affected by this. If you just play on Vanilla (i.e. not modded) single-player worlds, then you will not be affected by this issue. However, you should probably still restart the launcher to get access to the latest version of Minecraft.
On the other hand, if you run a multiplayer server, are part of a multiplayer server, or play any modded Minecraft worlds, single- or multiplayer, you should close down any instances of Minecraft that you currently have open and await further instruction relative to your Minecraft experience. For example, if you play a server on an older version of Minecraft, keep an eye on Mojang updates for that version, and information from your server provider.
This issue does not affect console players at all.
What should I do if I might be affected?
There doesn’t seem to be any reason to worry, as long as you follow the instructions that have been provided by the teams at Mojang, Forge and Paper, or keep an eye out on your specific server’s updates on the matter. And don’t play multiplayer Minecraft in the meantime.
As per an announcement from Mojang’s Slicedlime, another Release Candidate was implemented overnight to resolve the issue, and more recently, 1.18.1 has now been rolled out which includes the security fix. As such, you should ensure that you close the Minecraft Launcher if you have it open currently, and relaunch it to make sure you have the most up-to-date version. Double check that you are only opening worlds in the current 1.18.1 version (keep reading to find out how to check this).
As this fix only applies to the current 1.18 version of Minecraft at the moment, is it also recommended that you still don’t play on any older versions or modded versions for the time being unless you are given the go-ahead by the server team, mod team or Mojang (for older versions of Vanilla Minecraft).
Forge and PaperMC are regularly implementing updates as well. If you use any of these servers, check out the Twitter accounts of voxcpw (Forge) and aurora_smiles_ (PaperMC) to find out which versions have been updated, as they are still working on these fixes at the time of writing.
How to play on Minecraft 1.18.1
In short, it’s best for the time being to make sure you are playing Minecraft in 1.18.1, as this has now been rolled out early to fix the security issue. Again, this doesn’t help older versions of Minecraft, or worlds using Minecraft mod packs.
To check you are using the most up-to-date version of Minecraft, before hitting the Play button when you load into the launcher, check the bottom right hand corner of the screen. You will see a dropdown box that either shows “Latest Release” or “Latest Snapshot”. With the release of 1.18.1, you should ensure that you are playing in Latest Release: 1.18.1, as per below image.
Don’t let this Minecraft security issue put you off exploring the incredible new views that come with the Caves and Cliffs update, as there are some truly breath-taking views to find in 1.18.1 worlds. If you’re concerned, simply stick to your own single-player world and you can carry on your survival or creative experiences as normal.
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