Ever wondered why you are highly advised to allow automatic updates for Adobe Flash Player? This is because it is a favorite platform for hackers to infect computers and network systems to hatch their malicious intent. It is just unfortunate for Adobe Systems that Flash has many vulnerabilities that are very easy to exploit.
In fact, the company releases an update one day, announces a new vulnerability the next, and then sends a patch to fix the problem. The latest update for Windows and Mac is Adobe Flash Player 22.214.171.124 which is set to fix 25 security issues that has been exploited to deliver malicious ads. Just make sure to download it from the official Adobe website, so you don’t end up downloading malware to your computer.
But how do hackers use Adobe Flash Player as a channel to deliver a virus, malware or ransomware?
The recent attack on Adobe Flash Player said to be done by the Pawn Storm hacking gang, responsible for launching a sophisticated email campaign that targets the military, the government, and media organizations. What they do is send carefully crafted emails that come with attachments that are booby-trapped to lure targets to visit websites laced with exploit kits. If a target’s web browser is not fully patched, the hackers can open doors that will allow them to infect a system.
Carefully crafted doesn’t even begin to describe how clever the emails are made because Pawn Storm is targeting the military and government. They used subject lines such as:
“Syrian troops make gains as Putin defends air strikes”
“US military reports 75 US-trained rebels return Syria”
“Suicide car bomb targets NATO troop convoy Kabul”
“Israel launches airstrikes on targets in Gaza”
The email subjects are too good to pass up, and intended targets often and up opening them and then paving the way for hackers to infect computer systems.
Of course, the Pawn Storm group has to continue to spy and steal information in order to identify possible targets, and to create emails that attract attention. In fact, many believe that Operation Pawn Storm is a state-sponsored cybercrime.
Whether this is true or not doesn’t erase the fact that Adobe Flash Player is vulnerable to attacks. And unless you update to the latest version, your system could be infiltrated. Don’t think you are safe simply because you are nobody compared to the military or the government. Hackers can still find ways to exploit you one way or another.
Every techie needs a pair of sick headphones. Neurogadget recommends these Audio Technica Professional Studio Monitor Headphones for both their quality and their cool-factor.