Adobe Warns of Attacks on New Flash Flaw

Adobe Systems Inc. warned Monday that attackers are exploiting a previously unknown security hole in its Flash Player, multimedia software that is installed on most computers.

Adobe said a critical vulnerability exists in Adobe Flash Player versions and earlier, for Windows, Mac, Linux, Solaris, UNIX and Android operating systems. In a security advisory, Adobe warned that the flaw could cause Flash to crash and potentially allow an attacker to seize complete control over an affected system.

Worse still, there are reports that this vulnerability is being actively exploited in the wild against Adobe Flash Player. Adobe’s advisory states that while the latest versions of Adobe Acrobat and Reader also contain the vulnerable Flash components, the company is not aware of attacks against the Flash flaw in those programs.

That last bit may be of little comfort to Adobe Acrobat and Reader users: Last week, Adobe issued a similar advisory warning that hackers were attacking an as-yet unpatched critical flaw in both of those programs.

Adobe said it is in the process of finalizing a fix for the Flash issue and expects to provide an update for Flash Player on Windows, Mac, and Android systems during the week of Sept. 27, 2010. Updates to fix the Flash flaw in Adobe Reader and Acrobat should be ready by the week of October 4, 2010, Adobe said.

Flash is one of those Web components that can be difficult to do without. I often urge readers who use Firefox to install and use the Noscript add-on, which blocks Flash-based content by default and lets the user decide which Flash videos to enable.

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