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Oracle settles with the FTC over deceitful security updates

Michael Smith/Newsmakers/File

SAN FRANCISCO – PC users will see more warnings about the dangers of outdated software, under a legal settlement between tech giant Oracle and the Federal Trade Commission.

The case involves widely used software called Java, which comes pre-installed on many PCs and helps run web-based programs such as online calculators, games and chatrooms.

The FTC says Oracle knew older versions of Java had security flaws that were vulnerable to hackers. But until last year, Oracle’s Java update procedure failed to remove some older Java versions, which meant PCs were still vulnerable.

Without admitting wrongdoing, Oracle settled an FTC complaint by promising that current and future Java updates will automatically search for all older versions of the software. Oracle also promised to publicize the danger of leaving older versions of Java on PCs.

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