US Government asks its users to Disable Java to avoid being hacked

Posted on Jan 12 2013 - 10:57am by Abhi Bavishi

JavaNoThe Department of Homeland Security, United States has asked users to disable Java on their machines, in the aftermath of reports flowing over the Internet regarding the discovery of a major Java exploit.

The newly discovered glitch can be used by hackers to steal your identity by installing malicious software on machines.  Besides, it can also be used to make infected computers join botnets and attack websites.


Java, a platform-independent language, works on almost all computing platforms like Windows, Mac, and Linux. When the written Java code is compiled, it creates a platform independent bytecode that can be interpreted by the Java Virtual Machine (JVM).  Though JVMs are platform specific, software developers can write Java programs in form of modules and plugins that can be integrated in browsers like Firefox and Internet Explorer. Perhaps, it’s these modules and plugins which can be threatening for the internet users.

“This and previous Java vulnerabilities have been widely targeted by attackers, and new Java vulnerabilities are likely to be discovered,” said the Homeland Security department. “To defend against this and future Java vulnerabilities, disable Java in Web browsers.”

Government advising the public to discontinue any software suite is relatively a very rare sight. However, considering the fact that Java is used by millions of devices worldwide to surf the Web, government realizes that the impact of the newly discovered exploit can be catastrophic, to say the least.

To make the things even more vicious, no practical solution to the problem has been discovered as of yet.

“We are currently unaware of a practical solution to this problem,” the agency clarified on its website.

The government agency asserted that several popular exploit tools on the Internet have already discovered the bug, and have recoded their software to make use of the inherent exploit.

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About the Author

Abhi is a tech-writer, a software engineer, a photographer, a traveler, and a coffee-lover. He’s passionate about everything that’s even remotely digital. He portrays his obsession with tech-toys in his reviews and articles. You can connect with him at [email protected] Don’t worry. We checked. He doesn’t bite.

  • dickie

    Is there a way to tell if you have been hacked through java

  • TLO

    A Government ploy to regulate the Internet.

  • Abhi Bavishi

    There’s no way to detect if you’re a part of any botnet. Just install a good spyware/ anti-virus and make sure you have your Firewall on. Avoid clicking banners and visiting/installing content from suspicious websites.

  • JZ

    I agree with TLO this is defiantly a Government ploy to regulate the interne t. This all comes just months after the government started its campaign to regulating the internet. Once it’s regulated it will be unjustly taxed. Please look to peace America stop wasting your money on wars that generating hate, stop enslaving your people with Taxes we used to be a free nation.

  • Persona non Grata

    I have noticed that the reports on this have all failed to mention that in the Security Bulletin it recommends that you un install Java in addition to disabing the plugins. I have been on uninstalling Java from machines for several years now because of all the Java induced infections I have had to remove. The results has been a significant reduction in the amount of malware infection. My next question is what about Android? Am I wrong or does not Android run on Java? Take my advice and make your life much easier by un installing Java if you do not need it. We’ll just have to wait and see if the shoe drops on Android.

  • Persona non Grata

    Fact Check – Android apps are written in java, but are not executed by a java virtual machine. Rather a Dalvick virtual machine does the work. Good for Android! Maybe my phone is safe.

  • Tim

    Is this all brands of computers or just windows based?

  • Abhi Bavishi

    As Java is platform independent, it would affect all Java-supported browsers. (Windows, Android, Mac, Linux)

  • aksel

    Not going to happen, I have too much shit that requires Java.