‘Critical’ Security Flaw Found in Adobe Flash
The new information shows how hackers have the ability to take over computers with even the possibility of following password keystrokes. Following the news, and after various attempts to fix the issue, Internet giants Mozilla and Google have ceased support for the plugin on their browsers, Firefox and Chrome respectively.
What is Adobe Flash?
Many websites now use a markup language (HTML 5) to display multimedia on the web. However Adobe (Shockwave) Flash was once the prominent software for displaying such multimedia items including video, animations, games and graphics. HTML 5 has proved to be a more secure and advanced system that does not require plugins, which are prone to security breaches.
The movement away from Flash has progressed since 2010 when then Apple CEO, Steve Jobs, noted that the platform was “no longer necessary.” YouTube also made the switch to HTML 5 as its default player earlier this year.
Why is Adobe Flash Software Vulnerable to Hacking?
A cyberattack on Hacking Team, an Italian government-sponsored group, leaked documents which show how flaws in the Flash software could be utilised to hack into people’s accounts and take over their computers. More worryingly, it is thought that these exploits have been active for at least four years. Due to the fact the software is a plug-in, it requires updates regularly, which leaves it open to potential security breaches.
How Can the Security Flaw Affect You?
After information from these leaked documents was made public, many have noted how potential hacking and cybercriminals can take advantage of the flaws. The security lapses can be utilised by cybercriminals in a number of ways including installation of malware of PCs, stealing personal details and even the ability to monitor keystrokes.
How Can You Remove Flash From a Computer?
Disabling or removing Flash from your PC can effect certain websites and you may find that you are unable to use particular features on these websites without it. However many security researchers are suggesting that this is the best path until the issue is patched.
If you are looking to remove Flash from your PC you can simply go to your Start Menu, type Programs and Features and in right click and uninstall Adobe Flash Player from the list. For Mac users, there are different uninstallers depending on which OS X version you are using. As mentioned previously both Google and Mozilla have already seemingly blocked the plugins for the time being.