Many computers have Adobe products such as Acrobat Reader, Adobe Acrobat (full version), and Adobe Flash installed on them. On some computers these software programs have not been updated since they were installed. In actuality many people are not even aware that these products can or need to be updated. While this has not been a significant issue previously, the last several months has seen a noted increase in malicious software exploiting security vulnerabilities in these Adobe products.
The most recent security issue for Adobe Acrobat and Reader is detailed in an item today in the Washington Post’s Security Fix blog entitled, “Attackers Exploiting Unpatched Flaw In Adobe Reader, Acrobat.” In a related item today Adobe issued an Advisory that stated, “A critical vulnerability has been identified in Adobe Reader 9 and Acrobat 9 and earlier versions. This vulnerability would cause the application to crash and could potentially allow an attacker to take control of the affected system.” The Advisory goes on to state, “Adobe is in contact with anti-virus vendors, including McAfee and Symantec, on this issue in order to ensure the security of our mutual customers.”
While previous Adobe updates have addressed earlier security issues such as the one used in the Checkfree.com web site hijacking (see my earlier post “CheckFree.com Bill Pay Web Site Hijacked”), the current problem is still an open issue.
For Optimal Security Remember to Update Adobe Acrobat, Adobe Flash
The key message here is that computer users should be aware that the Adobe products do need to be updated periodically. Recent versions of these products may notify computer users automatically. People browsing web sites may sometimes be notified that their version of Flash needs to be updated. However many people are also leery of clicking on any pop up, regardless of how “official” it might looks.
The best method for getting the most current Adobe updates is to go directly to the Adobe web site. On the home page you will find clear links for the most current versions of Adobe Flash and Adobe Reader. Click and follow the onscreen instructions. The benefits from these updates are two-fold: enhanced computer security; and improved functionality in the newer versions of the Adobe products. Plus they are free. All the more reason to update.