Oracle has issued an update for its Java software to fix a security flaw so severe that it led the U.S. government to issue a note last week urging computer users to disable Java.
The vulnerability makes it possible for hackers to install malware that allows them to commit identify-theft crimes or add infected computers to networks that can be used for cyber attacks.
Because of the severity of the vulnerability, Oracle said it "strongly recommends" that users update their software as soon as possible.
The vulnerability was spotted last week by a French security researcher that goes by the name of "Kaffeine." After he identified the flaw, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, in a rare move, issued a note confirming the vulnerability and cautioning users to disable Java.
Apple remotely disabled Java on most of its users' Mac computers.
Java is widely used software that gives computer users access to various Web applications.