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US gov't tells computer users to disable Java

Department of Homeland Security issues unusual warning saying software's users should disable it to avoid potential hacking attacks; flaw puts millions of users at risk

Ehud Kenan, AP
Published: 01.12.13, 07:21 / Israel News

The US Department of Homeland Security has advised people to temporarily disable the Java software on their computers to avoid potential hacking attacks.

 

The highly unusual advisory, issued late Thursday by the Department of Homeland Security’s Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-Cert), follows increasing concerns about the susceptibility of the Java programming language to cyber-attacks.

 

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The call came in response to the discovery of a new vulnerability in the software and experts believe hackers have found a flaw in Java's coding that creates an opening for criminal activity and other high-tech mischief.

 

Java is a widely used technical language that allows computer programmers to write a wide variety of Internet applications and other software programs that can run on just about any computer's operating system.

 

As a precaution, Mozilla announced Friday that it was blocking all recent Java plug-ins from automatically loading in the browser unless a user specifically "clicks to play."

Oracle Corp. bought Java as part of a $7.3 billion acquisition of the software's creator, Sun Microsystems, in 2010.

 

Oracle, which is based in Redwood Shores, California, had no immediate comment late Friday.

 

 

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