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Java update tackles multiple critical flaws

Users should consider disabling browser plugins, says security firm

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Oracle has released a cross-platform update for Java that addresses 17 vulnerabilities in the ubiquitous software platform.

All 17 vulnerabilities might be abused to inject code into vulnerable systems, and all but one affect how Java Runtime Environment client software runs in browsers.

Java 6 update 26 for Windows, Linux and Solaris is designed to plug these multiple holes and is available for download from Oracle here. The last major update on this scale was three months ago.

Java packages on Windows can alternatively be patched using a built-in update function.

Apple users will have to wait until Apple releases an update to address these vulnerabilities, since there's no update for Mac OS X from Oracle.

The ubiquity of Java and the difficulty many users understandably have in keeping the software up to date have made it an attractive target for hackers. Users should consider whether they might be better off uninstalling Java from their systems or, at the very least, disabling Java browser plug-ins, an option discussed in greater depth in a blog post by net security firm Sophos here. ®

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