Scam of the day – May 14, 2016 – Yet another Adobe Flash critical update

For the third consecutive month, Adobe is issuing a security patch for its popular Adobe Flash software to protect you from the threat of a recently discovered zero day security flaw.  A zero day security flaw is a software vulnerability that had previously not been known and is used by cybercriminals to take advantage of the fact that there are no security software programs or patches that will prevent this flaw from being exploited by the cybercriminals.   I have been warning you for years about flaws in Adobe Flash that have been exploited by hackers and identity thieves against individuals, companies and government agencies including the U.S. State Department and the White House.  Problems with Adobe Flash are nothing new.  In 2010 Steve Jobs vociferously complained about its security and it has routinely been cited as being extremely vulnerable.  Despite security patch after security patch, new problems keep coming up.  It appears that just as companies retire certain programs when it is just too difficult to patch them, this may well be the time for Adobe to retire Flash and if it doesn’t, you should consider retiring it yourself and replacing it with another plugin that performs the same function, but is safer.

If you use Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge or Microsoft Internet Explorer 11, you do not need to download the newly issued security patch because these browsers automatically download the necessary Adobe Flash security patch on to your computer.  However, other browsers such as the popular Mozilla Firefox and Internet Explorer 9 do not automatically install these security patches.  In any event, Adobe Flash has already been proven to be so vulnerable to successful attacks by hackers that installing new security patches as quickly as they are issued is little more than putting a Band-aid on the Titanic if I can mix my metaphors.

TIPS

Here is the link to the latest Adobe Flash update as issued by the Department of Homeland Security which I urge you to download as soon as possible. https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/current-activity/2016/05/12/Adobe-Releases-Security-Updates-Flash-Player

Some alternative plugins you may wish to consider to replace Adobe Flash include  GNU Gnash, and Silverlight.  Silverlight can be downloaded free directly from the Microsoft at this link: https://www.microsoft.com/silverlight/ while GNU Gnash can be downloaded free at this link: http://www.gnu.org/software/gnash/

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