Feds require consumer warnings about older Java software

24 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Feds require consumer warnings about older Java software.

SAN FRANCISCO — PC users will see more warnings about the dangers of keeping outdated software on their machines, under a legal settlement negotiated by tech giant Oracle and regulators at the Federal Trade Commission. Oracle, one of the world’s largest tech companies, has been accused by the US government of misleading consumers about the security of its software Java, which is installed on roughly 850 million computers. The FTC says Oracle Corp. deceived consumers for several years by promising that updating their Java software would keep them safe from malware and hacking attacks. By abandoning these legacy builds, Oracle essentially left backdoors open on the computers of its customers — backdoors well-known to potential attackers due to their widespread publicity among security researchers. As part of the settlement, Oracle will be responsible for both notifying its users of the terms it agreed to and the risks posed by its uninstalled software, as well as for providing the tools necessary to perform complete removals.

Many consumers aren’t aware they use Java, which comes pre-installed on many PCs and helps with the operation of web-based functions, including online calculators, games, chatrooms and even viewing 3-D images. Action like this highlights the need for industry watchdogs, as insecure legacy software is a prime example of what economists call externalities: negative consequence of economic behavior that the free market provides no incentive to correct or account for. The software, known as Java SE, helps power many of the features consumers expect to see when they browse the Web, from browser-based games to online chatrooms.

It has been linked to a staggering array of security flaws that can enable hackers to steal personal information from users, including the login information for people’s financial accounts, the FTC said. Stifel Nicolaus decreased their price target on shares of Oracle from $47.00 to $45.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a report on Thursday, September 17th. Internal corporate records seized by the FTC noted that the “Java update mechanism is not aggressive enough or simply not working.” Although the company issued updates to fix the vulnerabilities as they were discovered, the updates didn’t uninstall the older, problematic versions of Java, leaving them on the customer’s computer. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fourteen have issued a hold rating, nineteen have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. In a blog post by Nicole Fleming, the FTC’s Consumer Education Specialist, the agency recommended consumers to visit Java.com/uninstall to remove older versions of the program.

Saturna Capital now owns 692,896 shares of the enterprise software provider’s stock worth $25,027,000 after buying an additional 6,325 shares during the period. The Company’s offerings include Oracle database and middleware software, application software, cloud infrastructure, hardware systems including computer server, storage and networking products, and related services. It operates through various segments, including new software licenses and cloud software subscriptions, which include software licenses and Oracle Cloud offerings; cloud infrastructure-as-a-service, which provides deployment and management offerings; software license updates and product support, which includes support, enhancements and upgrades for Oracle software products; hardware systems products, which includes servers, storage, networking, virtualization software, operating systems and management software; hardware systems support, which provides software updates for software components, and services business, which offers consulting services This story was originally published by Storm Investor (http://www.storminvestor.com) and is the sole property of Storm Investor. If you are reading this article on another website, that means this article was illegally copied and re-published to this website in violation of U.S. and International copyright law.

You can view the original version of this story at http://www.storminvestor.com/oracle-co-orcl-earns-aa-credit-rating-from-morningstar/197481/ Receive News & Ratings for Oracle Co.

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