Department of Homeland Security advises computer users to disable Java because of security hole
The Department of Homeland Security is advising people to temporarily disable the Java software on their computers to avoid a potential hacking attack.

Any system using Oracle Java 7 (1.7, 1.7.0) including

Java Platform Standard Edition 7 (Java SE 7)
Java SE Development Kit (JDK 7)
Java SE Runtime Environment (JRE 7)

All versions of Java 7 through update 10 are affected. Web browsers using the Java 7 plug-in are at high risk.

Great, just great.

A vulnerability in the Java Security Manager allows a Java applet to grant itself permission to execute arbitrary code. An attacker could use social engineering techniques to entice a user to visit a link to a website hosting a malicious Java applet. An attacker could also compromise a legitimate web site and upload a malicious Java applet (a "drive-by download" attack).


Disable Java in web browsers

This and previous Java vulnerabilities have been widely targeted by attackers, and new Java vulnerabilities are likely to be discovered. To defend against this and future Java vulnerabilities, consider disabling Java in web browsers until adequate updates are available. As with any software, unnecessary features should be disabled or removed as appropriate for your environment.

Starting with Java 7 Update 10, it is possible to disable Java content in web browsers through the Java control panel applet. From Setting the Security Level of the Java Client:

For installations where the highest level of security is required, it is possible to entirely prevent any Java apps (signed or unsigned) from running in a browser by de-selecting Enable Java content in the browser in the Java Control Panel under the Security tab.

If you are unable to update to Java 7 Update 10 please see the solution section of Vulnerability Note VU#636312 for instructions on how to disable Java on a per-browser basis.
Posted by: Mike Ramsey 2013-01-12