Oracle Issues 51 Java Security Fixes, 12 of Them Critical

Oracle has released a quarterly Critical Patch Update carrying 127 security fixes for its products, including no less than 51 for Java, which remains not only one of the most popular installations but also one of the most popular for malware mischief makers and thieves looking to seize control of desktops and laptops.

A Critical Patch Update is a quarterly collection of patches for multiple security vulnerabilities.

"Due to the threat posed by a successful attack, Oracle strongly recommends that customers apply [the] fixes as soon as possible," the company said.

Out of all the products addressed in the package Tuesday, Java is easily recognized as one of the most widely installed programs. The appeal of Java for programmers is credited to its ease of use -- software written with it can easily be made to run on many different types of computers -- and vast libraries. Java, according to Oracle, is a widely installed and powerful programming language, with 97 percent of enterprise desktops running Java, and 89 percent of desktops in the U.S. running it, too.

Applause for Earlier Arrivals

For businesses and consumers alike, Oracle's move to include Java fixes as part of the entire package of normal Oracle updates is a good sign, as it indicates Oracle's move to increase the frequency of Java security releases. This is the first time Oracle is patching Java on the same quarterly cycle as other products. Oracle's next quarterly patch update is scheduled for mid-January.

Security watchers this week took the opportunity to roll out their standard advice for business and consumer users who have Java installed: If you need it, be sure to heed the updates and stay current. If you don't need Java, disable it and walk away from the hungry tricksters looking for Java holes.

Out of the 51 vulnerabilities, 12...

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