Technology with attitude

Adobe Flash Player – Why Should You Uninstall It?

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Adobe Flash is with one foot in the grave, because its vulnerabilities have been exploited by hackers which are in direct connection with the Russian government. The operation, known under the name of Pawn Storm, started eight years ago, at least, and it targeted the US, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the Ukrainian government, the media and all Putin’s political opponents. So, is it safe to continue using Adobe’s Flash Player?

The hackers are using a malicious iOS application with which they are stealing data from iPhones, then they were employing spear-phishing to targeted computers, from where they get the information they needed. The owners of these devices were clicking on links with geopolitical content and they were directed to websites with malicious software.

According to the analysts from Trend Micro, it seems that the hackers behind Pawn Storm have found an Adobe Flash vulnerability called “zero day” which wasn’t previously discovered and the developers are struggling to fix it. But instead of doing that, many analysts and users are suggesting Adobe to retire the Flash Player, because it already caused many problems.

The Flash Player is installed on 99% percent of computers connected to the internet, plus smartphones and tablets and since it has many security holes, it’s easily exploitable. Many people are using this software because it’s required to play games and to show animations which are embedded into websites.

Apple founder Steve Jobs wasn’t very pleased with Adobe’s Flash Player, saying in 2010 that it drains the battery very fast. An alternative is HTML5, and the biggest websites, including YouTube, switched to this markup language in January, this year.

Flash is used also for displaying rich media ads – such as non-static banners, but on some smartphones which have this software disabled by default, are showing static ads. It seems that nowadays, fewer and fewer websites are using Flash content. Compared to 2011, when 50 percent of the websites were supporting Flash content, now their number has dropped to 20 percent. This is because HTML5 is taking Flash Player’s place.