A few days ago, Adobe revealed that it has discovered 13 critical vulnerabilities in Flash Player version 126.96.36.199 and earlier. These issues affected several Flash products (including Desktop Runtime, Flash for Google Chrome, and Flash for Microsoft Edge) and could make it easier for attackers to remotely access systems, bypass security restrictions, and obtain users’ information. Fortunately, users can protect themselves by downloading Flash Player version 188.8.131.52, which contains the security patches for the vulnerabilities mentioned above.
But, after downloading the latest version of Adobe Flash Player, many Chrome users noted that it came with an automatically downloaded Adobe plugin and that Chrome was now prompting them to enable the extension. This has angered a lot of people and generated complains about the way Adobe bundled its plugin with the security patch.
At first glance, the extension seems to be useful since it gives you the option to open PDFs in Adobe Reader instead of using the built-in PDF tool in Chrome. This is great when you need to use PDF features that are not offered by the browser-based tool. If you’ve paid for the full version of Adobe Acrobat, the plug-in will allow you to easily save web pages as PDFs. Having access to this feature is ideal if you usually do offline browsing either due to poor internet connection or personal preference.
These can make the Adobe plugin look like a useful and helpful tool. However, what irritated many Chrome users was the fact that Adobe decided to bundle it with an important security update. Some state that Adobe patches should focus on exactly what they’re designed for (i.e. bringing security fixes to users) and shouldn’t be used to introduce the company’s other products to its target market. Others, meanwhile, point out that bundling unwanted plugins into security patches might discourage users from downloading them — which can lead to higher incidents of cyber attacks.
There are also concerns about the fact that Adobe automatically collects usage data through the plugin, although the company insists that the information is anonymous. Fortunately, there’s an option for users to disable the plugin’s tracking option prevent Adobe from getting their data.
What do you think about the plugin that came with the latest version of Adobe Flash Player? Share your thoughts below!
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