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Adobe has released several Flash Player security updates for key operating systems – Chrome OS, Windows, Linux and Mac OS X – in an effort to deal with the numerous critical vulnerabilities that enable hackers to gain control over a system through ransomware.

Ransomware is malware that encrypts a computer’s hard drive then makes demands that payment be made for the decryption code. The threats tend to come in the form of display messages or voice-over techniques with instructions on how the ransom should be paid.

Not too long ago, Cerber affected several advertisements using Flash, enabling attackers to demand up to $1,000 to get back the encrypted files. Adobe said it was aware of the malware exploit in Windows 10 but didn’t clarify if a Mac computer could be infected.

Not long after that, Transmission, the popular BitTorrent client, was reported to have been temporarily infected with the first ransomware ever for the Mac. Many of these servers with the infected ads are no longer accessible. Cerber is thought to be traded within the underground Russian market as a ransomware-as-service, which means more attacks of this nature could be forthcoming.

Adobe has made the suggestion that Flash Player users using Mac computer ought to update to the latest version by doing one of two things:

  • Visit the Download Center
  • Update mechanism on the freeware

In just one month, that’s the second serious Flash security update for OS X.

Adobe knows about the limited targeted attacks on OSX and Linux and, because it can happen, Mac users have been told to uninstall the web plug-in or update to the newest version when the software has been infected.  In an effort to reduce the ransomware risk, Apple has blocked older and vulnerable versions of web plugins from working including Adobe Flash Player. They stay blocked in Safari until the most recent updates have been installed.

In order to find out what the affected AIR and Adobe Flash Player versions are, check the company’s security bulletin out, located on the website.