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Adobe Announces Flash Vulnerability, Hackers Can Control Your Computer

Posted By Mark O'Neill On February 11, 2014 @ 10:30 am In Technology Trends | 13 Comments

Adobe_Flash_Player_icon

Adobe recently announced a vulnerability [1] in its Flash Player and has issued a security update [2] to patch up the hole. Media reports warn the vulnerability could allow attackers to remotely seize control of your Windows, Mac or Linux computer.

Adobe’s announcement, after the vulnerability was reported by Kaspersky Labs, also included details about two web browsers with Flash Player which are potentially affected – Google Chrome and Internet Explorer. According to CNET [3], Adobe has assigned a Priority 1 rating to the vulnerabilities, which is Adobe’s highest threat level.

Even cellphones are not immune. If you have Flash Player on your Android phone, you need to check which version you have by going to “Settings > Applications > Manage Applications > Adobe Flash Player x.x”. But Adobe does not specify which version Android users need to have, or how it will be pushed to the phone. Will it be automatic? Or does the user have to download it?

According to Adobe, if you are the owner of a Windows or Mac computer, and have Flash Player version 12.0.0.43 or earlier, then you are vulnerable. If you use Linux and have Flash Player 11.2.202.335 or earlier, then again you are open to attack.

There’s two very quick and easy ways to check what version of Flash Player you have. The first is to go to this page [4] and it will tell you your version number.

The second option is to right-click on any Flash content and choose the option “About Adobe Flash Player” from the contextual menu.

Windows and Mac users are urged to update to Flash Player 12.0.0.44 as soon as possible, while Linux users should install version 11.2.202.336. Chrome and Internet Explorer will apparently be automatically updated without any input needed from the user.

After installing the latest patch, it would also be a good idea to run your malware program to make sure that there is nothing nasty lurking on your computer. If you are stuck for what program to use, give MalwareBytes [5] a try. The free version does more than enough to give your computer a thorough check-up.

“Adobe does seem to have an unfortunate history of people finding security flaws with Flash that require updates” independent security consultant Alan Woodward told the BBC in an interview [6].

Image: Flash


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URLs in this post:

[1] announced a vulnerability: http://helpx.adobe.com/security/products/flash-player/apsb14-04.html

[2] update: http://appleinsider.com/articles/14/02/04/flash-flaw-could-allow-attackers-to-remotely-control-macs-and-pcs-adobe-issues-critical-update

[3] According to CNET: http://news.cnet.com/8301-1009_3-57618367-83/adobe-issues-emergency-flash-update-for-windows-and-mac/

[4] to this page: http://www.adobe.com/software/flash/about/

[5] MalwareBytes: https://www.malwarebytes.org/

[6] interview: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-26045740