Released on December 5th, the latest Flash addresses two security vulnerabilities in earlier versions. The security bulletin for Flash 126.96.36.199 provides additional details.
If you’re still using Flash, you should install the new version as soon as possible. If you use a web browser with a Flash plugin enabled, don’t wait: update now. If you’re not sure whether your browser has Flash enabled, visit the Flash Player Help page with that browser. The Help page will detect Flash in your browser, tell you which version is installed, and provide a download link for the latest version.
Web browsers that include their own embedded Flash will be updated via their usual channels: for Microsoft browsers, that means Windows Update. Chrome usually updates itself automatically, but you can trigger an update by navigating its menu to
About Google Chrome.
There’s another new version of Flash: 188.8.131.52. A single Critical security vulnerability is addressed in this version. The vulnerability, when exploited, can allow for arbitrary code execution.
If you’re using a web browser with Flash enabled, you should update it as soon as possible. If you’re not sure whether your browser is enabled for Flash content, head over to the Flash Player Help page. If Flash is installed and enabled in your browser, your Flash version will be shown.
You can install Flash by visiting the main Flash installer page. Make sure to disable all the optional installation checkboxes on that page, or you’ll get unwanted software along with Flash.
As usual, Google Chrome and Microsoft’s browsers, which have their own embedded Flash viewers, are updated separately. Chrome will update itself; Edge and Internet Explorer are updated via the Windows Update service.
This month, we have fifty-six updates from Microsoft. The updates fix security issues in .NET, Office, Internet Explorer, Edge, Microsoft Project, SharePoint, PowerShell, Skype, and Windows. Analysis of the Security Update Guide for this month shows that a total of sixty-three vulnerabilities are addressed by the updates. Twelve of the vulnerabilities are flagged as Critical.
Windows 10 computers will have relevant updates installed automatically over the next few days. Those of you running older versions of Windows that don’t have automatic updates enabled will need to use Windows Update (in the Windows Control Panel) to check for new updates.
Meanwhile, Adobe released new versions of Flash and Reader. Flash 184.108.40.206 addresses a single security vulnerability in earlier versions. Reader DC 2019.008.20081 fixes a single security bug in earlier versions. Adobe software will usually update itself, unless you’ve explicitly disabled its automatic update features.
Security researchers from around the world apparently turned their attention to Adobe’s Acrobat and Acrobat Reader recently, and their efforts revealed a big pile of new vulnerabilities. Adobe responded yesterday, releasing new versions of its Acrobat-related products that address eighty-six of those vulnerabilities.
Although Acrobat and Reader exist in several different forms, the one most people actually use these days is Adobe Acrobat Reader DC (Continuous), and the latest version of that variant is 2019.008.20071.
If you use any paid version of Acrobat, or any of its free Reader variants, you should update it as soon as possible. This is particularly important if you open PDF files with uncertain provenance on the web or received in email. If you use Reader as a browser plug-in or extension, you should drop everything and update immediately.
Recent versions of Acrobat and Reader include an automatic update system, so your install may already be up to date. The easiest way to find out is to run it, then navigate its menu to
Check for Updates... If an update is available, you’ll be able to install it from there.
Adobe usually releases security updates for its software on Patch Tuesday, but they apparently decided that the seven vulnerabilities addressed in Acrobat Reader DC 2018.011.20063 shouldn’t be delayed.
The release annoucement for Adobe Reader 2018.011.20063 provides some details about the vulnerabilities. One of them, CVE-2018-12848, can lead to Arbitrary Code Execution, and is flagged as Critical.
It’s important to keep Acrobat Reader DC up to date, because it’s still being used to deliver malware, embedded in PDF documents. It’s especially important if you’ve enabled Reader in your web browser.
If you use Acrobat Reader DC, you can check whether it’s up to date by navigating its menu to
About Adobe Acrobat Reader DC. There’s also a
Check for Updates function in the
Help menu. On my Windows 8.1 computer, a Windows Task Scheduler task (added by Adobe) updated the software within a few hours of the new version’s release.
Analysis of Microsoft’s Security Update Guide shows that this month’s updates address sixty-two security vulnerabilities, ranging from Low to Critical in severity, in the usual suspects, namely Edge, .NET, Internet Explorer, Office, and Windows. There are forty-five updates in all.
If you’re looking for a new way to evaluate Microsoft’s monthly patch offerings, I recommend Microsoft Patch Tuesday by security firm Morpheus Labs. It’s a lot less oppressive — and easier to use — than Microsoft’s Security Update Guide.
Adobe’s providing us with a new version of Flash this month. Flash version 220.127.116.11 fixes a single security vulnerability. As usual, the Flash code embedded in Chrome and Microsoft browsers will update itself through Google’s automatic update process and Windows Update, respectively.
It’s update time again.
Analysis of Microsoft’s Security Update Guide shows that this month there are seventy updates for Windows, Office, Internet Explorer, .NET, Edge, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, and Visual Studio. A total of sixty security bugs are addressed, twenty of which are categorized as Critical.
Adobe, meanhwile, has released new versions of Flash and Acrobat Reader. Flash 18.104.22.168 includes fixes for five security issues, all of which are ranked as Important. Acrobat Reader 2018.011.20058 addresses two Critical security vulnerabilities.
Remember, folks: although updating software is perhaps not the most exciting thing you’ll do today, it’s entirely worthwhile, as it limits the damage that can be done by any stray malware that may find itself on your computer… from that attachment you opened without thinking, or that web site you visited when you accidentally clicked that link.
Adobe and Microsoft have issued their monthly updates for July, so even if you’d rather be doing anything else, you should be patching your computers.
We’ll start with Microsoft. As usual, this month’s Security Update Release bulletin serves as little more than a link to the Security Update Guide (SUG), Microsoft’s labyrinthine replacement for the individual bulletins we used to get.
In my experience, the SUG is much easier to digest in the form of a spreadsheet, so the first thing I do there is click the small
Download link at the right edge of the page, to the right of the Security Updates heading. If you have Excel — or something compatible — installed, you should be able to open it directly.
Once the spreadsheet is loaded, I recommend enabling the Filter option. In Excel 2007, that setting is in the Sort & Filter section of the Data ribbon (toolbar). This makes every column heading a drop-down list, which allow you to select a particular product or platform, and hide everything else.
Analysis of this month’s updates from the SUG spreadsheet shows that there are sixty-two distinct updates, addressing fifty-three security vulnerabilities in Flash, Internet Explorer, SharePoint, Visual Studio, Edge, Office applications, .NET, and all supported versions of Windows. Seventeen of the updates are flagged as Critical.
As for Adobe, there are updates for Flash (version 22.214.171.124) and Acrobat Reader DC (version 2018.011.20055). The Flash update fixes two vulnerabilities, one of which is Critical. The Acrobat Reader DC update includes fixes for over one hundred security bugs.
On June 7, Adobe released a new version of Flash, which addresses four vulnerabilities in earlier versions. One of those vulnerabilities is being exploited right now, mostly by way of Office documents attached to email.
The security bulletin for Flash 126.96.36.199 provides additional details.
If you’re using Flash, and in particular if you use a web browser in which Flash is enabled, you should update Flash as soon as possible. On Windows systems, you can do that by going to the Windows Control Panel, then clicking the Flash component. In the Flash Player Settings Manager, go to the
Updates tab and click
Check Now. That will take you to the official About Flash page, where you can check whether Flash is currently installed, see which version is installed, and download the latest version. Depending on your browser configuration, you may have to click the small gray rectangle to the right of the introductory text, then confirm that you want to allow Flash content to play.
As usual, browsers with embedded Flash (Edge, Chrome, Internet Explorer) will get the new version via their own update mechanisms.
Forty-seven security vulnerabilities in Acrobat Reader — many of them flagged as Critical — prompted Adobe to release a fixed version on May 14.
Acrobat Reader comes in a few different flavours, but the one targeted at regular users is Acrobat Reader DC, which is also sometimes refererred to as Acrobat Reader DC (Continuous Track). See the post Adobe Acrobat Reader updates from 2018Feb16 for more information about Acrobat/Reader variants.
Acrobat Reader DC version 2018.011.20040 contains fixes for all forty-seven vulnerabilities documented on the associated security bulletin.
You can install the latest Reader by visiting the Get Acrobat Reader page on Adobe’s web site. Don’t forget to disable any checkboxes for installing optional software. When I installed Acrobat Reader DC 2018.011.20040 from that page earlier, there were three such options, all enabled by default:
- Install the Acrobat Reader Chrome Extension
- … install the free McAfee Security Scan Plus utility …
- … install McAfee Safe Connect …
Unless you know for sure you want to use those products, it’s best to avoid them.