The 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.