Scam of the day – September 16, 2017 – New Adobe security updates

In July I told you that Adobe finally announced that it will be retiring its Adobe Flash software.  However, until that time, they are issuing new security updates and if you are  user of Adobe Flash, you absolutely should install the latest security patches, such as those just released by Adobe as indicated in a link below.

Flaws in Adobe Flash have been exploited by hackers and identity thieves against individuals, companies and government agencies including the U.S. State Department and the White House.  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.  According to security company, Symantec in 2015 80% of the newly discovered software vulnerabilities which can be exploited by malware created by cybercriminals involved Adobe Flash.

Microsoft already blocks Adobe Flash by default in its Edge browser due to security concerns.  Microsoft also blocks outdated versions of Adobe Flash from running in Internet Explorer on Windows 7.  If you use Windows 8.1, Windows 10 or Windows Server 2012R2, this will not affect you because these systems automatically install Adobe Flash security patches.  In addition, to Microsoft Google, Apple and Mozilla block Adobe Flash.   Apple has blocked Adobe Flash from iPhones since 2010.  If you have not already switched to alternative software to Adobe Flash, now is a good time to do so.

TIPS

If you are going to continue to use Adobe Flash, it is imperative that you update your software with the latest security patches when they are issued and here at Scamicide, we will inform you about security patches for Adobe Flash as soon as they are issued.

Here is a link to the latest security patches for Adobe Flash that have just been issued.

https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/current-activity/2017/09/12/Adobe-Releases-Security-Updates

However, it may well be time for you to replace Adobe Flash to avoid future problems.

Here is a link to a website with alternative plugins you may wish to consider to replace Adobe Flash.

http://alternativeto.net/software/flash-player/

Scam of the day – October 16, 2015 – Yet another Adobe Flash security flaw discovered

I have been writing about the security flaws in Adobe Flash for years and finally in July I advised everyone to disable Adobe Flash and use other video software.   Unfortunately, some popular websites including HBO and Spotify still require the use of Adobe Flash.  In an update on the continuing saga of the danger to all of us presented by continuing vulnerabilities in the  Adobe Flash browser plugin for watching videos, security company Trend Micro  has just discovered a new zero day exploit that is being used by hackers around the world targeting foreign affairs ministries.  However, it can be expected that this new security flaw will make its way to hackers with broader targets soon.  Adobe has been alerted to the flaw and is working on a patch.  When it is ready, I will let you know.  Meanwhile as I told you in July, Mozilla, the maker of the popular Firefox browser has blocked Adobe Flash from use on Firefox as a security protection to Firefox users.  This came just a day after Facebook’s head of security went on record saying that Adobe should stop making Flash because it is too flawed.  Flaws in Adobe Flash 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.

TIPS

Some alternative plugins you may wish to consider 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/

Meanwhile, even if you decide not to use an Adobe Flash alternative, it is important for everyone to remember not to click on links in emails or text messages until you have confirmed that they are legitimate.  Otherwise you risk downloading dangerous malware.

Scam of the day – July 16, 2015 – Adobe Flash update issued, but is it too late?

This is the third day in a row that the Scam of the day has involved Adobe Flash, but this is such an important topic and the new developments have been happening so rapidly, it warrants the coverage.  Adobe Flash is a hugely popular plug-in used for watching videos on your computer or smartphone.  Over the years it has also proven to be fertile grounds for hackers who have numerous times exploited vulnerabilities in it to hack into and take over the computers and smartphones of individuals, businesses and government agencies.  Shortly after Adobe released a new security patch following the discovery of yet another vulnerability by security company FireEye which reported its discovery to Adobe to give them the opportunity to develop a patch, we learned about two more Adobe Flash vulnerabilities by way of the information  made public when the spyware company The Hacking Team became a victim of a very public hacking.  The Hacking Team had been exploiting the Adobe Flash vulnerabilities for its own end.  Now, Adobe has come up with a patch for the latest Adobe Flash vulnerabilities to become known, but for many of us, this is too little and too late.  As I urged you yesterday, I think you should uninstall Adobe Flash and switch to a different video viewing plug-in.  There is little reason to believe that future vulnerabilities will not be discovered in  Adobe Flash and exploited by hackers and other criminals.  Exploit kits, which are packets of computer code that exploit these vulnerabilities are being sold by criminals to other criminals to enable them to hack the computers and smartphones of unsuspecting victims.  A sad commentary on the effectiveness of these Exploit kits is that many of them are still being used against vulnerabilities in Adobe Flash for which patches have already been developed and made available, but people, companies and government agencies have been lax in installing the patches to protect themselves.

TIPS

If you are still interested in using Adobe Flash, here is a link to the latest security patch to remedy the most recently discovered vulnerabilities.  https://helpx.adobe.com/security/products/flash-player/apsb15-18.html

However, my advice still is to uninstall Adobe Flash and install a different plug-in for video viewing.

Another important lesson is to make sure that you update all of your software as soon as security patches and updates become available.  Delaying in doing so puts you at much greater risk of being hacked and identity theft.  Here at Scamicide, we will continue to provide you with the latest security patches and updates as they become available.

Scam of the day – July 15, 2015 – Time to stop using Adobe Flash

In an update on the continuing saga of the danger to all of us presented by continuing vulnerabilities in the  Adobe Flash browser plugin for watching videos, Mozilla, the maker of the popular Firefox browser has blocked Adobe Flash from use on Firefox as a security protection to Firefox users.  This came just a day after Facebook’s head of security went on record saying that Adobe should stop making Flash because it is too flawed.  Flaws in Adobe Flash 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.

TIPS

Some alternative plugins you may wish to consider 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/