One of the best ways to keep the Adobe Flash player from being used as a backdoor to infiltrate your computer is to keep it up to date. Over the past few months, Adobe has released several updates to patch what they call critical vulnerabilities.
The situation is definitely critical. This is because the once unique runtime application is now being used to spread what is called the Locky Ransomware, a kind of malicious software that keeps a computer hostage until the owner pays up.
The vulnerability affects Flash Player on all operating systems – Windows, Mac, Chrome and Linux. Yes, even the seemingly impregnable Mac operating system is now vulnerable to attack through the Flash player. But Apple has found a way to fend off possible attacks, which is by blocking older versions of Adobe Flash Player.
Users with out-of-date versions of the plug-in will see a blocked message when attempting to view Flash content in a Safari browser. This can be “Blocked plug-in, “Flash out-of-date” or “Flash security alert”. The message effectively forces users to update flash player and obtain security fixes to patch vulnerabilities.
The latest update of the Adobe Flash Player was released in July. Version 22.214.171.124 for Windows, Chrome, Edge, Internet Explorer, and Mac, and version 126.96.36.1992 for Linux.
The update was meant to fix 50 vulnerabilities that could do some real damage when left un-patched. Some of the patches were meant to fix a race condition, heap buffer overflow vulnerability, memory leak, stack corruption vulnerabilities, and other bugs that can lead to code execution.
No recent updates have been released so far, but users are advised to keep an eye out for news on vulnerabilities that usually come with exploit kits. One of the companies who spot vulnerabilities in Adobe Flash Player is Trend Micro, so you might want to follow them.
A word of caution: always check if an update is legitimate each and every time one is available.
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