Flash Player Update Fixes Zero-Day Flaws

Adobe has released an emergency update for its Flash Player software that fixes three critical vulnerabilities, two of which the company warns are actively being exploited to compromise systems.

brokenflash-aIn an advisory, Adobe said two of the bugs quashed in this update (CVE-2013-0643 and CVE-2013-0648) are being used by attackers to target Firefox users. The company noted that the attacks are designed to trick users into clicking a link which redirects to a Web site serving malicious Flash content.

Readers can be forgiven for feeling patch fatigue with Flash: This is the third security update that Adobe has shipped for Flash in the last month. On Feb. 12, Adobe released a patch to plug at least 17 security holes in Flash. On Feb. 7, Adobe rushed out an update to fix two other flaws that attackers were already exploiting to break into vulnerable computers.

Updates are available for Windows, Mac and Linux installations of Flash (see the chart below for the appropriate version number).  This link should tell you which version of Flash your browser has installed. The most recent versions are available from the Adobe download center, but beware potentially unwanted add-ons, like McAfee Security Scan). To avoid this, uncheck the pre-checked box before downloading, or grab your OS-specific Flash download from here.

Chrome and Internet Explorer 10 have built-in auto-update features that should bring Flash to the most recent version. The patched version of Flash for Chrome is 11.6.602.171, which Google appears to have already pushed out to Chrome useres. Windows users who browse the Web with anything other than Internet Explorer will need to apply this patch twice, once with IE and again using the alternative browser (Firefox, Opera, e.g.).

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