Oracle has released a critical patch update for Java Standard Edition (SE). Oracle recommends that customers apply the fixes as soon as possible. Release Java SE 7u21 includes 42 new and important security fixes.
Oracle has two products that implement Java SE: Java SE Development Kit (JDK) 7 and Java SE Runtime Environment (JRE) 7. JDK 7 is a superset of JRE 7 and contains everything that is in JRE 7, plus tools such as the compilers and debuggers necessary for developing applets and applications.
Users running Java SE with a browser can download the latest release here. Users on the Windows and Mac OS X platforms can also use automatic updates to get the latest release.
Java 8 may be delayed while Oracle works out these issues with Java 7. The release group’s focus suggests they will be releasing a stable, polished version of Java 8. The scheduled date for Java 8 is June 18, 2013.
In related Java news, Apple’s most recent update for Safari includes functionality that allows users to decide whether to enable the Java plug-in on a site-by-site basis. The new feature is available for the latest versions of Safari 5 and 6. Apple has also released an update for the Java browser plug-in that addresses 21 vulnerabilities in the browser and in Java.