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Risky Java software: Oracle issues emergency fix to thwart hackers

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Even after Oracle's move, many experts on computer security say Java software remains vulnerable to hackers.

Hacker-response experts at the group CERT, based at Carnegie Mellon University, continue to view Java as high-risk software, even with the new patch installed.

"Unless it is absolutely necessary to run Java in web browsers, disable it as described below, even after updating" to the newly released Java 7 Update 11, a CERT vulnerability notice says. "This will help mitigate other Java vulnerabilities that may be discovered in the future."
A number of independent Web-security analysts are sounding similar notes of caution.

"It’s nice that Oracle fixed this vulnerability so quickly," writes Internet security blogger Brian Krebs. But "it seems malware writers are constantly finding new zero-day vulnerabilities in Java."

A "zero-day" attack is one that exploits a vulnerability that has not been documented before, so defenders have had zero days to develop security patches.

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