Adobe releases emergency security update for Flash Player

Graham Cluley
@gcluley

Breaking its normal patching cycle, Adobe has today published a critical security update for its Flash Player product and advised Windows, Mac and Linux users to update their systems.

In a security bulletin published on its website, Adobe explained that the security patch addressed a “critical vulnerability that could potentially allow an attacker to remotely take control of the affected system”, and that it was aware of reports that the “integer underflow vulnerability” was being exploited in the wild by attackers.

Clearly Adobe thinks the issue is serious if it is taking the step to issue an out-of-band security patch.

Here are the details of what you need to do (if anything), dependent on which version of Flash Player and which operating system you use.

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  • Users of Adobe Flash Player 12.0.0.43 and earlier versions for Windows and Macintosh should update to Adobe Flash Player 12.0.0.44.
  • Users of Adobe Flash Player 11.2.202.335 and earlier versions for Linux should update to Adobe Flash Player 11.2.202.336.
  • Adobe Flash Player 12.0.0.41 installed with Google Chrome will automatically be updated to the latest Google Chrome version, which will include Adobe Flash Player 12.0.0.44 for Windows, Macintosh and Linux.
  • Adobe Flash Player 12.0.0.38 installed with Internet Explorer 10 will automatically be updated to the latest Internet Explorer 10 version, which will include Adobe Flash Player 12.0.0.44 for Windows 8.0.
  • Adobe Flash Player 12.0.0.38 installed with Internet Explorer 11 will automatically be updated to the latest Internet Explorer 11 version, which will include Adobe Flash Player 12.0.0.44 for Windows 8.1.

Details on how to find out which version of Adobe Flash you are running, and where to obtain the security updates, can be found in Adobe’s security bulletin.

In the past Adobe security flaws have been exploited widely by online criminals to infect unprotected computers, so internet users would be wise to take the threat seriously and patch their systems as appropriate.

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Graham Cluley is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of computer security, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley, or drop him an email.

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