The Fix For Flash’s Latest Critical Flaw: Uninstall

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Yet another critical security flaw in Adobe's Flash has been discovered and is being exploited on the Mac, Windows, and Linux computers. Directly linked to Pawn Storm, it can let hackers take control over your computer, and the only fix for now is to uninstall Flash.

Another day, another zero-day exploit for Adobe FlashAnother day, another zero-day exploit for Adobe Flash

Pawn Storm has a history of using cyber-espionage to target political figures and government agencies around the world. This latest Flash-based attack focused on foreign affairs ministries, according to Trend Micro. The security research company stated,

In this most recent campaign, Pawn Storm targeted several foreign affairs ministries from around the globe. The targets received spear phishing e-mails that contained links leading to the exploit. The emails and URLs were crafted to appear like they lead to information about current events.

The firm said this latest Flash security flaw affects at least versions and Adobe offered some clarification saying all Flash versions including and earlier for the Mac and Windows, and and earlier for Linux are vulnerable to the attack.

Adobe says it hopes to have a patch for the flaw available next week, but didn't offer any other details on that time frame. Until then, the only truly effective way to protect your computer from the flaw is to uninstall Flash.

Flash has a long history of serious security flaws, and companies have been dropping support for the platform for years. Amazon is among the latest big name companies to abandon Flash, and The Mac Observer has said it's time for everyone to put and end to Flash support, too.

This latest zero-day exploit is yet another reason do abandon Flash, and to let the sites you visit that still rely on the multimedia platform that it's time for them to move on, too.

To remove Flash from your computer, download the uninstaller for the version of OS X you're using on your Mac. (See, for example, "Everything You Need to Know: Survive Without Flash on Your Mac" with some helpful notes and links.) Uninstallers for OS X 10.3 and earlier as well as OS X 10.4 and later are available at Adobe's support website, linked in the above article.

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Whether Adobe realizes it or not, Flash has become an embarrassment. It's a security crap storm and the resources Adobe has to dump into the platform could be put to better use adding new and improved features to the Creative Suite apps, or maybe those cool new iPad Pro-compatible design apps.

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This is a source of some frustration.

Several sites that I need to access, for example Thomson Reuters for Endnotes (a reference manager for writing scientific manuscripts), which I had to do just last week to sort a problem I was having with removing outdated references using their latest version, required me to access the user guide using Flash, which I had to instal and then uninstall.

Hoping that sites will self-police and update their sites to preserve security is, perhaps, asking too much, but it would be nice.


This morning I tried to get to a site of a group that does training and recording for actors. It was Flash. Not just the pictures. Not just an embedded movie. the whole site. Without flash I got a blank black page. No links, no “contact us” address. Nothing. I tried on my iPad and got exactly the same thing, except on the iPad version there was a pop-up to download Flash. Riiiiight.

I have a feeling the same lazy mush for brains coders that would only write sites for IE6 back in the day are now coding sites that only use Flash.


Yup, you nailed it, geoduck. Lazy. Lazy, lazy, lazy. And yet oddly, many of those same sites have modern versions if you are on or pretending to be on a mobile platform. Pathetic. It’s been years, just acknowledge that flash is dead, folks.

Paul Goodwin

It’s horrid enough as a security risk, but Web designers using Flash in this day and age where iOS is so widespread is just mind numbingly idiotic.


This is too bad. There is still NO ALTERNATIVE to Flash. It simply is the BEST authoring tool for web animation that is interactive (no you can’t do it in Quicktime). It’s too bad that it’s being exploited but so far HTML5 is a bust - none of the Flash sites I visit have switched. People that keep saying Flash is dead are simply wrong - prove it. Show me another program that does interactive with drag-n-drop ease. Now Firefox and Chrome are going to completely lose Flash in the next update - what about Safari? When is Safari going to write-out Flash? Chrome is useless, but FF? I will definitely NOT update to lose Flash. I can’t wait to see the sh*tstorm when these non-Flash browsers appear - woo hoo!!! Maybe then Flash will come back better. Personally, I’m not worried about a Flash vulnerability - and I doubt anyone visiting this site has ever been infected with a Flash exploit so it’s much ado about nothing. How about fixing the porous holes in iOS first!!!!

Paul Goodwin

CudaBoy - iOS Safari doesn’t support Flash. Any web designer worth his salt has designed his (her) site to support non-Flash running devices as well as ones that are running Flash. Only the horse and buggy webmasters design Flash-only pages.


And yet the main page of this site keeps trying to get me to trust Flash to load…

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