| By Robert Vamosi |
Recent problems with Adobe Flash and Sun’s Java are leading some users to dispense with either while surfing the Internet.
This week I’ll discuss some of the latest Flash and Java problems and show you how to either disable these plug-ins or install anti-Flash/anti-Java apps.
A time of transition for Adobe Flash Reader
Recently, Adobe made available for download (page) its Flash Player 10.1 release candidate. Typically, a release candidate is the final stop for a product before its official launch — and Version 10.1’s release may finally put to rest a bit of unpleasantness in Flash Player’s development.
Earlier this year, Flash Player product manager Emmy Huang uttered a public mea culpa in a Feb. 6 Flash bug report, acknowledging that Adobe knew of a critical flaw in Flash Player as far back as 2008 but neglected to send out a timely patch. By the time Adobe fixed the null pointer flaw last February, Adobe’s image had taken a beating.
It did not improve with news that Adobe was releasing silent updates for Adobe Reader through its new automatic update program, Acrobat Refresh Manager. Many personal computer users were rightly annoyed that Adobe was downloading patches without users’ knowledge. Perhaps that’s why the company currently has decided not to launch a similar automatic update feature for Flash Player, according to an Infosecurity.com story.
But in some respects, that decision couldn’t be worse — because Flash needs to be kept updated. As reported in several Windows Secrets articles such as contributing editor Susan Bradley’s March 25 item, “Flash endangers Facebook and other social sites,” Flash is a vehicle for malware. Criminals are looking beyond the Windows operating system to compromise applications available on virtually any desktop — applications such as the Adobe Flash Player.