In a rare warning, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is urging computer users to disable the Java software, citing what it says is a vulnerability in the Oracle's programming platform.
Apple said it is heeding the advice and has remotely disabled Java for most Mac users.
"Java 7 Update 10 and earlier contain an unspecified vulnerability that can allow a remote, unauthenticated attacker to execute arbitrary code on a vulnerable system," the Homeland Security's Computer Emergency Readiness Team said in a note posted Thursday. "We are currently unaware of a practical solution to this problem."
According to Reuters, the vulnerability makes it possible for hackers to install malware that enables them to commit identify-theft crimes or add infected computers to networks that can be used for cyber attacks.
Java is a widely used software that gives computer users access to various Web applications. Users can test whether their machines have Java by going to Oracle's Java website.