Jim Finkle of the Reuters news service writes about the warnings from the US Department of Homeland Security on the security exposures in Oracle JAVA. The department urges users to disable JAVA to prevent hackers from stealing the users identity or taking over the computer. JAVA should stay disabled until Oracle provides a fix. Procedures for disabling JAVA are included below the Reuters article.
1/11/13 - from the link below:
Java is so widely used that the software has become a prime target for hackers. Last year Oracle's Java surpassed Adobe Systems Inc's Reader software as the most frequently attacked piece of software, according to security software maker Kaspersky Lab.
Java was responsible for 50 percent of all cyber attacks last year in which hackers broke into computers by exploiting software bugs, according Kaspersky. That was followed by Adobe Reader, which was involved in 28 percent of all incidents. Microsoft Windows and Internet Explorer were involved in about 3 percent of incidents, according to the survey.
The Department of Homeland Security said attackers could trick targets into visiting malicious websites that would infect their PCs with software capable of exploiting the bug in Java.
It said an attacker could also infect a legitimate website by uploading malicious software that would infect machines of computer users who trust that site because they have previously visited it without experiencing any problems.
this item contains instructions for disabling JAVA in different browsers: