Adobe unveils Flash Player security update

Software update

Software vendor Adobe has announced an update for its popular Flash Player.

The new version fixes a number of security holes, including critical vulnerabilities that could result in memory corruption, stack overflows, security bypasses, null dereferencing and DLL hijacking.

Most of the addressed flaws deal with problems that could help hackers execute code on a user's machine.

These updates address vulnerabilities that could cause a crash or allow an attacker to take control of an affected system.

It also includes enhancements to the security of the code on a variety of platforms.

For instance, the Windows version of Flash Player now sports a production version of Flash Player Protected Mode for Firefox. This sandboxes the code in the browser, making it more difficult for hackers to access other processes on a user's machine.

"These updates address vulnerabilities that could cause a crash and potentially allow an attacker to take control of the affected system," said Adobe in an advisory.

Mac users get silent updating in the background. This runs a daemon on the machine every hour to check for updates on Adobe's servers. When updates are available, it downloads them once a response has been obtained.

This feature can be disabled in the Flash Player preferences menu.

Adobe has also signed the code on the Mac version in readiness for the Mac OS X release of Mountain Lion.

The next version of Apple's operating system will feature "GateKeeper". This is designed to protect users from malware while downloading applications on to their computers.

"Starting with Flash Player 11.3, Adobe has started signing releases for Mac OS X using an Apple Developer ID certificate," said Brad Arkin, Adobe's senior director of security, products and services, on a company blog.

When the Gatekeeper function is set to 'Mac App Store and identified developers,' end-users would "be able to install Flash Player without being blocked," added Arkin.

Flash Player on Windows and Macintosh will get updated to version 11.3.300.257, while Linux gets updated to All previous versions should be treated as vulnerable to attack from criminals.

Rene Millman

Rene Millman is a freelance writer and broadcaster who covers cybersecurity, AI, IoT, and the cloud. He also works as a contributing analyst at GigaOm and has previously worked as an analyst for Gartner covering the infrastructure market. He has made numerous television appearances to give his views and expertise on technology trends and companies that affect and shape our lives. You can follow Rene Millman on Twitter.