Adobe has release a critical update for Adobe Flash.
This update is both bad news and it comes with some good news.
First the bad news.
There is a critical vulnerability in Adobe Flash Player.
The Adobe Flash software is installed on most computers and many mobile devices. Flash is available on just about any computing device except the iPhone and iPad. Even Apple computers still have Flash available to them. It is used for all sorts of things online and allows something to be written once and used on nearly any device that has Flash available for it. Facebook games and apps, website audio players, and many website games use Flash. You Tube is mainly Flash although they are trying to switch to other technology. Some websites use flash extensively for interaction and animations on the page.
In this case, it looks like a memory corruption can be caused. This corruption causes Flash to crash. When it crashes, the attacker can slip in his own code and this allows them to gain control over your computer. They can then steal any information on you computer and/or use it for their own purposes like attacking other computers. This patch fixes the problem.
Vulnerabilities in Adobe Flash have been a big problem for a couple years now.
It seems like every other month or so we see a new problem with Flash and need to update it. In fact, some of the problems with Adobe Reader were really problems with the way Flash worked inside the PDF file in Adobe Reader. Part of the problem is the huge increase in Flash’s abilities from when it was first introduced. There weren’t the same security issues and Flash did not so nearly as much as it does now when it was first introduced. As more and more features have been added, there has been more possibility for problems to occur.
So, we’ve had to keep updating Flash whenever a new vulnerability is found.
Some problems Adobe doesn’t find out till someone starts to use it to install malware on the Internet. Others, Adobe finds out and releases a patch before it can be used. It’s been a hassle. There hasn’t been a good or easy way to update Flash on your computer. I’ve found even notification to be kind of unreliable. There has even been malware that pretends to tell you a Flash update is available and lead you to install malware. That’s one reason I try to encourage people to update Flash when ever there is an update so they don’t fall for fake update.
Now the good news!
This Adobe Flash Player update includes an auto update feature. When you update Adobe Flash this time you will see a screen that gives you the option for automatic or silent updates (it’s the first choice on the window that pops up). I suggest that you choose the auto update option.
It is unclear right now if all Flash updates will use this auto updater. I’ve read that there may still be times you need to agree to do the update. Even if it just does some updates in the background automatically, it saves you a lot of time and confusion every time it does. That makes your computer safer.
Here’s a video on updating Adobe Flash (make sure you read below for the special instructions).
To do this update you will need to go to the Adobe Website and download Flash once more.
Make sure you are using Microsoft Internet Explorer for the Adobe Website. At least, now we won’t have to do this as often and there is the chance you won’t have to do it very much again at all. I’ve included the video on updating Adobe Flash I’ve done before. The new update is nearly the same, there is just a new window during installation where you can check the auto update option. Make sure you choose it. I suggest going to Adobe.com as soon as possible.
Currently this silent or automatic update option is only for Windows computers. Like I said, you should do the Adobe updates using Internet Explorer. Other browsers like Google Chrome have their own version of Flash and the update may not work with them. My understanding is that an update for Mac OS is still being worked on so Mac users are stuck updating manually for now.