Oracle Releases Emergency Java Patch After Government Security Warning

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Oracle Corp., owner of the ubiquitous computer software Java, released Sunday night a patch for the software to protect its users against high-tech hackers.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued a warning late Thursday for computer users to temporarily disable their Java programs due to suspicions that hackers may have found a flaw in Java’s coding that could possibly open the door for detrimental criminal activity. The department claims that a hacker would be able to lure users to an unsafe website with manipulated Java software, and then implant a virus on a user’s computer.

Computer security experts have urged users to download the patch as soon as possible, but are still wary about the Java software due to other issues that have arisen with the software in recent months.  Java’s security blog announced on Sunday that the update will fix two of Java 7 vulnerabilities, and that it switched Java’s internal security settings to “high,” which would make a security breach much more difficult for hackers.

Java is popular technical computer language that is compatible with most operating systems, and so is used by many computer programmers when writing internet applications for websites and software. It is estimated that Java runs on more than one billion machines worldwide, according to Yahoo! news.

According to security software maker Kaspersky Lab, Java has become the most frequently attacked software by hackers, accounting for 50 percent of all cyber attacks last year, followed by Adobe Reader, which was responsible for 28 percent of attacks.