If you have been using Mozilla Firefox (my recommended web browser) after July 14th and you started to notice issues with some of your browser games or Facebook functions, it would be because of the sudden discovery of security flaws having to do with Adobe Flash Player.
Flash is a program works in conjunction with many websites to generate the content on a particular webpage. This content could be any number of different things. Pictures, videos, games, and more are all possible to display in very slick or artistic ways using Flash. Unfortunately, and unbeknownst to the general public, Flash also came with a number of built-in security flaws, which have been exploited by ne’er-do-well hackers for who knows how long.
Forbes contributor Tony Bradley reports some of the details:
Russ Ernst, director of product management for HEAT Software (formerly Lumension) offered advice about Adobe Flash as well. “Together, the three exploits impact Flash versions 9.0 through 184.108.40.206 in Windows, Mac and Linux and brings Flash to its 11th update overall in 2015 alone. If you must use Flash, be sure you have the current version, which you can download here.The safer bet however is to uninstall the long-risky media player once and for all.”
Mr. Bradley also relays the prophetic nature of the late Steve Jobs. Steve Jobs wrote an open letter explaining why he would not include support for Flash Player in the Apple iOS framework in 2010. It turns out that Flash player’s real and potential flaws were foreseen by some people in the technology industry.
So, what does this all mean to the average computer user? As Bradley stated, you can try updating Flash when it pops up with a notification down by the clock, but as of when this is being written there is no update for Flash (Adobe programmers are still working on that). This means an update won’t actually protect you from this security issue. What might be the best course of action is to completely uninstall Adobe Flash from your computers. It has always been free software, so in the future if you did discover you needed it and they fixed the security flaws it can always be re-installed. If you need help with this, please contact us by phone or at firstname.lastname@example.org
I actually logged onto my bank to check an account balance last night and was surprised to see Firefox blocking the ads that the bank places on pages on their own site for their own services. I had no idea that my bank did that, as those banners are normally still pictures. Flash is widely used, and it’s used in more places than many technicians realize, which means that, when something like this security flaw is exploited, the dangers are very real. Please check with us for further updates or look for updated coverage of this issue in the news.
-Matthew Milbrodt, Woodvile Store Manager