Emergency security fix for Flash, from Adobe

February 5th 2014

If you have received a prompt over the last day or so from Adobe on your computer to install an update to your Flash Player, we strongly recommend that you do so. Otherwise, your machine could be hijacked by hackers.

For information and advice on software updates, click here

The update – highlighted by researchers at internet security company Kaspersky Lab – addresses a "critical vulnerability" in older versions of Flash which cybercriminals have found out how to exploit.

A new version of the software has been made available for download for Windows, Mac and Linux computers. Many websites use Flash to provide videos, graphics, games and other content. Recently, however, many developers have switched to using the HTML 5 platform to create their effects. Adobe has actually acknowledged that HTML 5 offered the best solution for smartphones and tablets because it was universally supported, but continues to develop Flash for PCs owing what it says is a superior user experience. Flash is not supported by Apple on its iOS platform, and is no longer offered on Google's Play store for Android devices.

Flash has suffered a number of security setbacks of late. Last year, usernames and encrypted passwords had been stolen from about 38 million of its active account holders.
Users of Chrome, Internet Explorer 10 and Internet Explorer 11 should all see their browsers automatically update themselves to include the latest version of Flash, says Adobe.

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