Mac OS X Java Application Issues

Recent issues with Mac OS X, Java and the FlashBack virus may affect your ability to start Network Connect from the Secure VPN web page.

Recently there have been a number of new viruses, known as the FlashBack, that have been affecting Mac OS X computers.
The virus attack takes advantage of a security flaw in some versions of Java, allowing the virus to install without your knowledge or permission.

Apple recently released an update to Java to address this security flaw. The update blocks the ability of the virus to infect your computer by disabling Java web applications.


While disabling Java web apps will prevent this virus infection, it may also prevent some web features from functioning correctly in Macintosh web browsers. This includes Safari and FireFox web browsers and may include others as well.

HMS IT has confirmed that one affected service is the HMS Secure VPN web page. When attempting to start Network Connect, you may see a message similar to the following:
"Inactive Plug-in"
There will be a small arrow next to the error.


General protection from virus infection:

HMS IT strongly recommends the use of Antivirus software to scan for and protect your computer from virus infection. HMS IT offers licensing for ESET Antivirus/Malware software. Contact your departmental CSR or the Help Desk at 432-2000 for ESET installation assistance.

Using Network Connect for the HMS Secure VPN web page:

If you need to use Network Connect to access the HMS network, it is strongly recommended that you download and install the Network Connect standalone application.

Installing Network Connect using the stand-alone installer

  1. Click here to download the Network Connect for Macintosh installer image.
  2. Double click the image file "NetworkConnect6.5.0.dmg" to mount the installer image.
  3. Double click the "NetworkConnect" icon.
  4. Double click on the "NetworkConnect.pkg" icon in the folder.
  5. Follow the prompts to complete the installation.
  6. If prompted, enter the login name and password for a Mac OS X Administrator account.

Configuring and using Network Connect

  1. After installing Network Connect, you will need to configure it prior to first use.
  2. Launch Network Connect from the Applications folder (Hard drive/Applications).
  3. In the window that appears, enter the server address:
  4. Press Return.
  5. You should now be able to enter your eCommons User name and Password.
  6. Click "Connect" to connect to the HMS IT Network.

Once you've connected, you will have full access to the HMS Network with the same privileges as if you had connected from the Secure VPN web page.


Last updated December 12, 2012

Copyright 2014 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College.
Site Updated: 7/25/2014
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