Apple's decision to block Mac computers from running programs that use Oracle's Java programming language has had some unintended consequences.
Although the block was designed as a security measure to stop Java running on browsers, thus shielding users from potential hackers who can take over their computers using vulnerabilities found on the software, it was also blocking non-browser applications on Friday.
Ivan Glaser, regional chief information officer Asia Pacific, for communications group Havas Worldwide, said some 18 advertising agencies in the region woke up Friday morning to find themselves cut off from their backbone application.
"It's fully integrated with our financial systems, our staff use it morning, noon and night across all offices," Glaser told Fairfax Media's ITPro on Friday.
"We started getting phone calls from our Melbourne office early this morning, saying they couldn't log on. I originally thought it was a localised issue, but half an hour later people in Sydney couldn't log on."
Glaser then found out from another office that a systems analyst had been up all night developing a temporary fix for another software application, Pegasus, which is also widely used by ad and media agencies worldwide.
"He did some investigation and found out it was a Mac Java block that affected all Mac users," Glaser said, adding that ad agencies rely heavily on Mac computers for their daily work. Across the region Macs account for a fifth of all Havas computers, but some offices use them exclusively.
"Luckily, he found a solution for us which gets around the Apple block and fortunately, because of time difference, we've been able to send it around to all other offices. But not every office has servers they can push the fix to, so it means they have to go around to every single Mac to implement."
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