Is Flash Going Out With a Bang?

by Paul Davies, July 16, 2015

Not one, not two, but we’re now up to three zero-day vulnerabilities that have been discovered in Flash software this week. Which begs the question, can Flash ever shine brightly again?

Adobe’s Flash Player has long been considered an institution in IT software. And for many of us, it is a program that has been sitting on our computer with no problems at all. But with the discovery of these zero day vulnerabilities, not only is Flash becoming dangerous to use, but the chances of it returning from this reign of terror are looking nigh on impossible.

What is a Zero Day Vulnerability?

A Zero Day Vulnerability is basically a weakness with the programming of a piece of software that its creators are not aware of.

The term ‘Zero Day’ comes from the fact that hackers are then able to exploit this weakness on the day that it becomes apparent, before the owners are able to create a patch.

In the case of Flash Player these vulnerabilities have been occurring all week. And with each one, the amount of data being dumped onto the internet and the ability to take over devices captured during the attack is becoming greater.

The most significant hack this week has involved Hacking Team itself, the company that provides hacking facilities to the US Government. During the event, a mass of data from the company flooded the internet, providing highly confidential information to anyone who wanted to find it.

And while Adobe insist that they are already working on a patch to shield itself against the two previous invasions, news that a third weakness has been found could just be the nail in their coffin.

It’s Time to Look Elsewhere

Until such time as these vulnerabilities have been removed and no other further weaknesses are discovered, the advice to all EasyHide-VPN customers is to remove Flash from all your devices.

This may very well not be the end of the problems with Flash Player, and if you are doing everything you can to hide IP addresses and protect your system with a high quality VPN, the last thing you need is to expose your software via a program you should be able to trust.

Check your PC now. Even if you don’t think you use Flash, you may find it still installed on your computer. Most modern platforms, such as all recent editions of Chrome, include a version of Flash as standard. And many of us will have clicked the ‘install Flash’ icon when we want to watch a video on the internet.

For Windows users it is as simple as using the ‘Add/Remove Programs’ setting to disable the program. For Mac users, there are comprehensive instructions on the Apple site. If you have a website, make sure that your videos and online media do not use Flash. If they do, then it is time to look for an alternative.

While the powers that be fight amongst themselves to decide who is to blame for this new security leak, users must do what they can to protect themselves now.