Department of Homeland Security urges Java users to disable software
Computer experts are warning personal computer users to disable Oracle's Java program, which is run by 1.1 billion desktops, according to the company.
The program has serious flaws that hackers are using to invade computers around the world, says Adam Wosotowsky, an expert at McAfee antivirus.
"It could end up with a lot of people with permanent infections," he said.
Wosotowsky said a hacker can use the flaw to install a "bot" to remotely control your computer, reading all your files, downloading your data and sending out emails in your name. "The bot master basically has full control over your machine."
Hackers are sharing information with each other on how to make use of the flaw with "exploit kits."
The Department of Homeland Security's Cybercommunication and Security Office says the problem affects Java 7 Update 10 and earlier versions of the program, and it isn't aware of any solution other than disabling the program.