On Tuesday, the latest batch on November software patches arrived bringing with it a wide array of security updates both Microsoft and Adobe software. While all the update updates are important, the Adobe Flash Player updates are of special importance to users with Adobe installed on their computers as they fix critical vulnerabilities in the software that can leave users open to viruses and malware attacks if they remain unpatched. We've put together an overview of all the software receiving patches this month, plus instructions on how to check if your software is up-to-date and update Adobe Flash Player.
Adobe has finally acknowledged what the rest of us have known for years: Flash needs to die. The software giant plans to stop supporting and updating Flash Player by 2020, according to a statement from the company. Sites that use Flash will continue to work through 2020, but will no longer work once Adobe "end-of-lifes" the software. Once a standard tool for web development, Flash Player has become something of a pariah in recent years. The software slowed down browsers and posed a near-constant security risk, as vulnerability after vulnerability was discovered.
Adobe Flash may be on its way out, but apparently, its goodbye tour is going to be marred by security issues just as the software has for most of its existence. Kaspersky Labs reports that a new Adobe Flash vulnerability was exploited by a group called BlackOasis, which used it to plant malware on computers across a number of countries. Kaspersky says the group appears to be interested in Middle Eastern politics, United Nations officials, opposition activists and journalists, and BlackOasis victims have so far been located in Russia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Libya, Jordan, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Iran, the Netherlands, Bahrain, United Kingdom and Angola. The attack took place on October 10th and the malware planted by BlackOasis is a commercial product called FinSpy or FinFisher, typically sold to governments and law enforcement agencies. Kaspersky notified Adobe of the vulnerability and it has since released a Flash Player security update for Windows, Macintosh, Linux and Chrome OS.
The end is nigh for Adobe's Flash software. After years of disdain from consumers, former Apple CEO Steve Jobs and many in the tech industry, Adobe has finally decided to kill its Flash software, removing support by the end of 2020. Web browsers Chrome, Microsoft Edge and Safari have all blocked Flash in the past year and new open formats, such as HTML5, WebGL and WebAssembly have ably fulfilled the role of Flash. THE IPHONE 8 ISN'T EVEN HERE AND ANDROID USERS ARE ALREADY SWITCHING TO APPLE "Specifically, we will stop updating and distributing the Flash Player at the end of 2020 and encourage content creators to migrate any existing Flash content to these new open formats," Adobe wrote in a blog post Tuesday, making the announcement. Flash is still widely used in a number of games, education and video sites, so Adobe will work with its partners to continue supporting the technology over the next few years.