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Monday, November 9, 2015

Adobe Flash Warning

     Adobe Flash is used for creating graphics, animation, browser games, Internet applications, desktop applications, mobile applications and mobile games. Flash displays text, vector and raster graphics to provide animations, video games and applications. It allows streaming of audio and video, and can capture mouse, keyboard, microphone and camera input. Similar was Microsoft's Silverlight which ended its run in 2012. Adobe Flash came into being in 1996 and quickly became the standard but now it’s largely obsolete because most Web sites and apps use different technologies to accomplish the same thing.
     Back in July Google and Mozilla each announced that their Web browsers would be dropping default support for Adobe Flash because of Flash's newly discovered vulnerabilities to cyber-attacks. A few days earlier Facebook’s chief of security called for Adobe to set an “end of life” date for the same reason. 
     The odds are pretty high that Adobe Flash is on your computer right now and that means there is a possibility that your system and personal information at risk. As a result some are suggesting that delete it. 
     What made Flash so popular is its ability to run complex scripts from websites, but on the downside it can also be used for malicious purposes. Scripts written in Flash can access the computer's memory on your computer, which is just inviting attacks. Anytime a site is able to access your computer’s memory, it’s able to make changes. That makes it a popular platform for cyber-crooks (and it has also been pointed out just in case you don't trust them, spying governments) and it not unusual for security alerts and fixes to be put out by Adobe by the dozens. That government thing? There is an Italian company, Hacking Team,using unknown flaws in Flash to create spyware that it sold to oppressive governments in various companies. One group of hackers having association with the Russian government has been known to use a flaw that allowed them to hack into the foreign affairs ministries of different countries. 
     Also, Flash is a computer resource hog that can bog systems down. Steve Jobs wrote in an Apple Blog back in 2010 that they were aware that Flash is the number one reason Macs crash. In October 2010, Apple announced that it would no longer install Flash Player on its computers — including its Safari Web browser — although users could install it on their own if they wanted to. 
     If you are using a Windows PC, rely on an older browser, or were prompted by a Web site to install it, it's probably on your machine. 
     Adobe is trying to fix the issues on its Flash Player, but it appears to be a lost cause. Beside that, the Adobe Flash Player is currently one of the most unsecure applications around, hackers will keep searching for security loops and exploit them.
     Flash Player Security Update Available - For everyone enrolled in their auto update system (highly recommended – of course), you’ll be automatically and silently updated within 24 hours. For more details on this release, read their security bulletin and release notes. To download the updated version visit their page HERE. NOTE WELL: If you are already running an updated anti-virus program, make sure you uncheck the box “Optional Offer” box so you do not also download the McAffe anti-virus program, too. 

  • Not sure if adobe Flash is on your computer? Go to their site HERE and run the check. 
  • Which program can you use to replace Adobe Flash Player for a new and more secure program? Answer: There is not really a Flash player replacement if you use Windows. 
  • A site called Transition Blog lists some alternative, but there's no guarantee they will work. For Ubuntu users, there is a discussion HERE.

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