Many computer users have been startled, some alarmed by the appearance, in recent years, of the jucheck.exe (pronounced jewcheck?) software begging to be installed on desktops, laptops and tablets. The executable file which is produced and distributed by Oracle is in fact a small program that automatically updates a computer’s Java software (ju is an acronym for java update). However, according to some websites, virus programs have been found masquerading as this little Jucheck program and these could cause damage to computer files.
The worries caused by Jucheck are widespread but mostly unfounded. According to Reid Wrighthead, a computer analyst at the Jerusalem based Machshev Research Institute, Jucheck is often confused with the notorious CHKJEW (pronounced checkjew), an old DOS program command which was popular in the early 90s. Running CHKJEW returned the number of Jews that had been surfing an early version of the Internet on a particular machine. The CHKJEW command was discontinued by Microsoft in 1994 due to the combined objections of a wide spectrum of religious and civil rights groups which charged that the command was discriminatory and illegal according to privacy laws.
Abe Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) states that he is a Holocaust survivor and a computer illiterate, thus it is obvious to him, that the existence of the Jucheck program implies an appearance if not the intent of anti-Semitic expression among a certain segment of the computing community. Foxman states that his organization has launched a multimillion dollar investigation into the phenomenon.
On the other end of the political spectrum, many Israel/Palestine activists believe that the Jucheck program is actually a trojan which was developed jointly by Israeli and American intelligence agencies for the purpose of monitoring those who are considered enemies of the Jewish State. The activists say that Jucheck can copy and transfer files from infected computers to a collection facility in Tel Aviv. Also, it is believed that Jucheck can use the infected computer’s microphone to record conversations of those in the immediate vicinity.
This writer has not been able to verify the validity of any of the claims against the Jucheck program.