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Threat Intelligence

5/31/2016
11:15 AM
Steve Zurier
Steve Zurier
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Adobe Flash: 6 Tips For Blocking Exploit Kits

While Adobe does a good job patching exploits, there are additional steps security staffs can take to hedge their bets.
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There’s no rest for weary security managers and their teams of incident responders. A new report from NTT Group security company Solutionary found that Adobe Flash was by far the software most targeted by exploit kits in 2015.

An exploit kit is software that runs on web servers that targets vulnerabilities in client machines communicating with the server that then uploads malicious code on those clients.

Jon-Louis Heimerl, manager of Solutionary’s threat intelligence communication team, says that there was a steady increase in Adobe Flash exploit kits from 2012 to 2014, followed by a dramatic increase in 2015.

“There were 314 vulnerabilities identified in Adobe Flash in 2015, which represents a rate of one new vulnerability every 28 hours, and researchers have found 105 so far this year, for a rate of one new exploit every 33 hours,” Heimerl adds.

Heimerl explains that Flash now runs as a default on most computer systems and is supported across most modern operating systems, which makes it a prime target for bad threat actors.

For those looking to remove Adobe Flash from their systems, Heimerl recommends going to the adobe.com site and then find the search option on the upper right corner. Start typing “Flash uninstaller” and the page for the uninstaller will appear pretty quickly.

Going to the Adobe site is just as important for those who want to install Flash, he adds. “Don’t mess around with any page telling you to “install now,” just go directly to Adobe.com and get Flash from there on the lower right corner,” he explains.

Heimerl says while he personally does without Adobe Flash in many instances, it’s unrealistic to expect that most organizations will wean off such a popular program. Google recently announced it will no longer support Flash by default in Chrome, but they are the only company to make such an announcement. Here are six tips security managers can follow to reduce the risk of being the victim of an exploit kit:

 

Steve Zurier has more than 30 years of journalism and publishing experience, most of the last 24 of which were spent covering networking and security technology. Steve is based in Columbia, Md. View Full Bio

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