Computer Users Should Disable Java 7 Owing To Security Flaw, Experts Say
by BILL CHAPPELL
January 11, 2013 3:28 PM
Millions of computer users who run the most recent versions of Oracle's Java software should disable the product owing to security flaws, says the cybersecurity section of the Department of Homeland Security. The agency says, "Web browsers using the Java 7 plug-in are at high risk."
For our Newscast desk, Steve Henn filed a report from Silicon Valley in which he says that "in the last few months security researchers have discovered a series of bugs that can allow bad actors to take over machines that are running Java in a Web browser and steal your identity."
Those bugs can be exploited to allow hackers' programs to give themselves full security privileges, according to a "vulnerability note" posted by Carnegie Mellon University's CERT computer security site.
"Oracle Java 7 update 10 and earlier are affected," the notice says. It adds that the only known solution is to "disable Java in web browsers."
It seems that security experts began to highlight the vulnerability this week, after it began to be used in software kits that are sold to hackers. The Malware don't need Coffee site seems to have been among the first to report it.
"This vulnerability is being attacked in the wild, and is reported to be incorporated into exploit kits," the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team wrote in its vulnerability note. "Exploit code for this vulnerability is also publicly available."