(Reuters) – The US Department of Homeland Security urged computer users to disable Oracle Corp’s Java software, amplifying security experts’ prior warnings to hundreds of millions of consumers and businesses that use it to surf the Web.
Hackers have figured out how to exploit Java to install malicious software enabling them to commit crimes ranging from identity theft to making an infected computer part of an ad-hoc network of computers that can be used to attack websites.
“We are currently unaware of a practical solution to this problem,” the Department of Homeland Security’s Computer Emergency Readiness Team said in a posting on its website late on Thursday.
“This and previous Java vulnerabilities have been widely targeted by attackers, and new Java vulnerabilities are likely to be discovered,” the agency said. “To defend against this and future Java vulnerabilities, disable Java in Web browsers.”
Oracle declined yesterday to comment on the warning.