Last month, Adobe released a warning about its popular flash software that has led to ransomware viruses spilling onto various platforms, including Microsoft Windows, Apple, Linux, and Chrome operating systems.
Flash is a popular media player frequently used through online games, videos, and other media content. It’s been in common use ever since the early 2000s and has grown in popularity among graphic designers and web browsers ever since its conception, and has generally been considered to be a safe and reliable software. Earlier this year, hacking reports grew as a ransom virus began invading Microsoft computers which alarmed many users and information technology companies like The Tech Info Group. The ransomware, infected by Cerber, usually spread through an ad that would show on the screen, and would lock and encrypt all of the files on infected computers unless large sums ranging to $1,000 were paid to the hackers as instructed by popups and voiceovers. While Adobe began investigating the security breaches, BitTorrent client Transmission joined in the ransomware hacking and was the first to successfully infect a Mac computer.
While most of the affected software is now inaccessible, users are highly recommended to the latest version of Adobe Flash, version 188.8.131.52, which can be found for free on Adobe’s website. This is the second major Flash update in a month, and there are likely more to come as Adobe isolates the problems and works to repair them in a timely fashion.
Adobe is currently working to fix these breaches as securely as possible with new upgrades and enhanced security protocols, but users need to be sure to keep safe in the mean time. Everyone who has already gotten the upgrade should stay warned that more attacks (and more upgrades) may be coming in the near future.
While Adobe is working to eliminate these vulnerabilities, it is still entirely possible that the hackers can work around it. Ad-blocking software can be effective, as well as manually avoiding clicking on ads. However, you should think twice before switching to a different media player–Adobe Flash remains one of the most secure and trustworthy media software’s available, and as the next wave of hacking begins, its reach will be widespread through many different platforms. Because of the difficulty of repairing a computer that has been infected with ransomware, the current best way around it if your computer is infected is to buy a new one. Keep your data safely stored at all times in case this happens, and be careful when using Adobe Flash.