For the second time since the beginning of 2013, Apple has blocked the latest release of the Java plug-in, effectively preventing it from being loaded into machines running OS X — as it did once before, in January of this year.
While it’s not immediately clear why Apple blocked this release of the Java 7 web plug-in, it’s likely that they are responding to reports that began over the weekend that this new release had some security issues and was allowing unsigned computer code to run on machine running the new plug-in.
Apple isn’t the only group with concerns about this latest release of Java. In a Vulnerability Note updated January 24, the US Department of Homeland Security recommends “(u)nless it is absolutely necessary to run Java in web browsers, disable it… even after updating to 7u11 (the latest release).”
Since users of OS X were victimized by the Flashback Trojan malware in 2011, Apple has been slowly moving away from integrating Java into its operating systems. Later versions of the software rely less and less on Java, even going so far as to disable the plug-in in the 2012 version of OS X Lion
To find out how to disable Java in your machine, see the Homeland Security Vulnerablity note or this article in ZDNET.
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