Action follows fix for yet another critical security issue in web technology
Following a fix issued on Friday that appeared to plug the latest in a string of critical security issues plaguing Adobe's Flash, the aging web animation technology, Apple has again moved to block any version of Flash that is not the latest for the current and recent versions of OS X. Machines not running Flash version 126.96.36.199 (or 188.8.131.52 for older systems) will receive a message about a "blocked plug-in" or "Flash Security Alert" and be unable to use Flash until they update to the current version.
Blog post falls short of full apology, launches optional program to streamline ads
In a blog post, Scott Cunningham, the senior vice president of technology at the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), confessed to driving the state of Internet ads to near collapse. Saying that the rampant proliferation of Flash and similar technologies has "steamrolled the users, depleted their devices, and tried their patience", the vice president has launched the LEAN ads program, designed to lighten the impact on users, reduce the data footprint of ads, and guarantee viewer device safety simultaneously.
Exploit effective against all versions of Flash for OS X, Windows, Linux
A criticalÂ vulnerability has been identified in Adobe Flash Player by security researchers at Trend Micro. All versions for Windows, Macintosh and Linux of the problematic plugin, including this week's release, are all affected by the vulnerability. Targets of the attack can have the flaw exploited to induce a system crash and potentially allow anÂ attacker to take control of the affected computer.
New process could be used in place of DRAM, NAND memory alike
Intel Corporation and Micron Technology, Inc. today unveiled 3D XPoint technology, a non-volatile memory that has the potential to enhance any device, application or service that benefits from fast access to large sets of data. While superficially similar to HP's Memristor technology, 3D XPoint technology is a new and major breakthrough in memory process technology.
Misfit Link app turns fitness trackers into programmable button
Wearable device producer Misfit is making two changes to its product range, both in terms of hardware and software. The existing fitness trackers now have a new Misfit Link app that turns the wearable into a remote control, while the Flash Link is a wearable device that works with the Link app out of the box, and offers some of the functionality of the current Flash fitness band while also lowering the overall cost to end users.
New vulnerabilities in Flash force Mozilla to take action
Mozilla is blocking Adobe Flash from being run in the Firefox browser following a series of serious security flaws in the software. As of the most recent update all versions of Flash identified with a vulnerability have been blocked by default in order to keep the browser secure, Firefox support head Mark Schmidt advised on Twitter, though he also clarified the block is not permanent, and will be lifted in the event Adobe releases a new, more secure version.
Latest exploits flaw marketed by Hacking Team to governments, others
Adobe has updated Flash to version 184.108.40.206 for Windows and Mac in an effort to close yet another batch of security flaws. While no active use of the exploits had been discovered, the company had been notified earlier this week that some of the exploits had been discovered to be known by Hacking Team, a group of commercial security attackers that has sold such secrets and flaws to government agencies around the world.
Exploit targets professional-industry users through phishing emails
Adobe on Wednesday has released an emergency patch for its Flash Player browser plug-in due to a critical flaw that is being actively exploited in the wild. Flash Player 220.127.116.11 and earlier for Windows and Macintosh systems are affected by the issue, as is version 18.104.22.1686 for Linux 11.x versions. The attack, called APT3 for the China-based organization from which it originates, uses spam "phishing" emails targeted at industry professionals to gain credentials used to steal intellectual property data.
Four new products highlight speed, increased capacity
At this week's Computex in Taiwan, storage vendor Sandisk unveiled a two new products, alongside a refresh of two others. The new drives are the USB-C SanDisk Extreme 900 portable SSD, and the SanDisk Extreme 500 Portable SSD. Bolstered today are the 128GB SanDisk Ultra Fit, and the 256GB SanDisk Ultra USB 3.0 flash drive.
In push to move forward, beloved bits and pieces sometimes fall to the wayside
Stop us if you've heard this one: Apple takes one of its key software applications, radically changes it, losing important features along the way. Existing users say Apple has dumbed down an app that was perfect, while new users say this is fantastic, they can finally understand the application. Flash forward a few months, and Apple has stealthily added back some or all of the features. We've seen this with iMovie and Final Cut Pro, we saw it with Pages, we are seeing it now with iPhoto turning into Photos. It is a well-worn path by Apple, and if we're not fans of the way they go about it, we are often fans of how these new applications turn out ... eventually.
Adaptive Bitrate support in HTML5 cited as factor in the switch from Flash
YouTube began testing simultaneous support for both Flash and HTML5 video delivery back in 2010, but Flash has continued to be the default in most cases unless users opted into an HTML5 only beta -- until now. YouTube announced today on their developer blog it will now default to utilizing the HTML5 video tag on certain web browsers.
All previous versions vulnerable, attacks on un-updated machines seen in wild
Adobe has again had to issue an update to the browser plug-in version of Flash due a critical flaw in the program that allows remote attackers to take over un-updated Macs or PCs, the latter running either Windows or Linux. The company urges users to update to the latest version, first issued on Friday, that patches the problem -- however, all previous versions should be considered at risk, and there are not yet any Chrome browser or standalone updaters available.
Get Flash applications and videos onto your iPad -- if you must
Perhaps you don't know it yet, but you are already in one of the two camps over how Apple refuses to allow Flash to work on iPads. If you doubt this because you haven't even heard of the issue, then you're in the half of the population that has simply never noticed the problem. If you do know it and you're reading this because you know it, then you are getting this problem a lot -- and you have been searching forever for a solution. Photon Flash Player for iPad is a solution. It's a web browser, like Safari, but it comes with the ability to play Flash -- and you pay for that, in how its other functionality is weaker.
New tactic addresses complaints of silent disabling of outdated versions
Apple is trying a different tack in the struggle to keep Macs secure by encouraging users to either disable the Flash browser plug-in outright, or to keep up-to-date with the latest version, which routinely fixes serious security issues found in the multi-platform media player. The latest maneuver by the iPhone maker, which debuted today, is a direct pop-up prompt to update to the latest version when users visit a page that requires Flash Player. The dialogue box takes users directly to Adobe's own page for updating Flash.
SwitchEasy announces new kickstand cases for iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus
Mobile accessories designer SwitchEasy has announced two new cases for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus entitled Rave. Composed of a combination of faux leather and thermoplastic polyurethane, the Rave case is reflective, and shimmers when it catches the light. Its folding design allows the phone to be propped up into a kickstand, ideal for watching videos. The Rave joins SwitchEasy's line of cases for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus and will be available online, with pricing starting at $30.
Offers many of the same tracking features as the Shine, loses the aluminum casing
Misift, the company behind the Shine fitness tracker, announced another tracker today that aims at bringing wearables to a wider audience. The Flash functions as a fitness tracker and sleep monitor, taking on the same features found in the Shine for a lower price. Where the $100 Shine was a tracker in an aluminum shell, the Flash takes a cheaper route with polyurethane and polycarbonate construction for $50.
Designed to save time wasted on incompatible content
Google has implemented a change to the way mobile search results are displayed, warning users if a website uses Adobe Flash. On devices running iOS or Android, results may now show a tag saying "Uses Flash. May not work on your device." Below this are links letting users "try anyway" or learn more about the problem.
Latest version for Snow Leopard and higher now required for Flash to work
Following an emergency patch issued by Adobe yesterday for a vulnerability in Flash Player and Adobe AIR that the company deemed "critical" for users to upgrade to, Apple is now blocking all un-upgraded versions of the plug-in in Safari, though the warning dialog will take users to the Flash Installer page where they can obtain the patched version. Users of OS X 10.6 and higher must be running version 22.214.171.124 in order for the Flash plug-in to work normally. Windows and Linux users are also affected by the flaw.
Flaw allows attackers to steal authenticating cookies, hasn't been seen in wild yet
Adobe has issued an emergency patch of its Flash Player technology to correct a security flaw that could allow hackers false access to thousands of popular websites -- notably Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and eBay among many others. The patch, which will update Flash to version 126.96.36.199, is considered "critical" for users of OS X, Windows and Linux operating systems. Even if users have Flash Player disabled in their browser, they may still need to update if they are using any products that require Adobe AIR.
Mavericks Applescript Problem
This week, MacNN Forum members assist others with troubleshooting Applescript problems, updating Flash issues with Safari, and more. One Fresh-Faced Recruit has been having problems with an Applescript after upgrading to Mavericks from Mountain Lion, and he hopes that others might be able to assist in figuring out why. Today, "jeff k" was asking fellow forum-goers if they could figure out why Safari would keep asking him to do a Flash update after he has already updated Flash.
Windows exploits already active
Adobe has issued a new security bulletin warning of a Flash flaw that could allow a hacker to seize control of a computer. So far just Windows exploits have been seen in the wild, but Adobe cautions that Mac and Linux systems are vulnerable as well. The security hole is present only in older versions of Flash Player, requiring simply that people have up-to-date software.
At least three websites attacked so far
Adobe has issued a new version of Flash Player, 188.8.131.52, to deal with a serious vulnerability. Security firm FireEye notes that the hole has already been used to attack at least three non-profit websites. "This threat actor clearly seeks out and compromises websites of organizations related to international security policy, defense topics, and other non-profit sociocultural issues," it writes. "The actor either maintains persistence on these sites for extended periods of time or is able to re-compromise them periodically.
Drives use compact flash or CFast to emulate SSD RAIDs
Addonics Technologies has released two storage solutions using Compact Flash (CF) cards in five slot drive configurations with the Sapphire five-slot CFast and Sapphire five-slot CF drives. The drives use CFast and Compact Flash cards, respectively, to create RAID arrays for SSD storage solutions, aimed at systems using USB 2.0/3.0 or eSATA interfaces.
Should minimize impact of exploit
Apple has silently updated malware definitions in OS X to block anything but the latest Mac version of Adobe Flash, v184.108.40.206, according to a security memo. Adobe issued the new Flash code yesterday to deal with a serious vulnerability that could let hackers seize control of a computer. Equivalent Windows and Linux patches were also made available.
Threat seen in the wild, Adobe says
Adobe has released a new version of Flash Player for Windows and Mac, 220.127.116.11, to cope with a serious security hole. The company warns that exploits for the vulnerability have been seen in the wild, and that the problem could potentially allow an attacker to seize control of a computer. A matching Linux update is labeled v18.104.22.1685.
Atom USB 3.0 flash drive size of a quarter, available in 8GB, 16GB and 32GB
Mushkin has announced its new Atom USB 3.0 Flash Drive, which focuses on providing a small form-factor the size of a quarter. Backwards compatible with USB 2.0 and 1.1, the Atom USB 3.0 flash drive enables users to leave the flash drive into the USB port while working on the go without obstruction. Offering versatility for tablet and slim notebook users, the flash drive can be plugged in and left as secondary device storage with a low power usage.
Could limit key attack vector
Flash is now a sandboxed plugin in OS X Mavericks, according to an Adobe blog post. Using the OS' App Sandbox feature, Adobe says it has been able to limit Flash's file read/write access and what assets the plugin can find in the first place. It can no longer reach local connections to device resources and IPC (interprocess communications) channels, for instance, and network privileges are restricted such that Flash-based malware can't communicate with servers set up by hackers.
Adobe squashes 14 security issues in latest update to Flash for browsers
It wasn't only about iPhones and iOS on Tuesday -- Apple continues to keep an eye out for potential security threats and, where possible, prevent them. A recent silent update to Apple's built-in (for Snow Leopard and higher) XProtect anti-malware software blocked all but the most recent update to Java due to security concerns, and today another update to XProtect did the same thing to all but the very latest release of Flash, as Adobe released a patch that fixes some 14 bugs that could have compromised user security.
Speakers compatible with Siri and Voice Commands
Ematic released yesterday its ESB100 Speaker, its first Bluetooth speaker product. The speaker -- comparable to a softball in size -- offers 30 feet of wireless range, as well as a line-in feature to listen directly from a non-Bluetooth device. With 35 hours of playtime per charge, the ESB100's battery is recharged with the included microUSB cable and wall charger. Including customizable foam speaker grills in blue and black, consumers can purchase Ematic's ESB100 for $40 at Wal-Mart.
Samsung 3D flash tech set to spur next-gen smartphone, tablet design
Samsung has debuted the industry’s first 3D vertical NAND flash memory architecture. Just as Intel has pushed processor technology with its 3D tri-gate architecture first seen on its ‘Ivy Bridge’ designs, Samsung’s engineers have taken a vertical to boost performance applying a similar principle to the way it designs its next-generation NAND flash designs. According to Samsung, its new design overcomes inherent technical challenges that arise when moving to 10nm processes including cell-to-cell interference while breaking through scaling limitations.
Flash rebuilt with 64-bit architecture, Dreamweaver gains CSS Designer tool
Adobe has outlined a large number of changes for its web-development products, as part of its major announcements today. Flash Professional CC has been rebuilt to be more modular and streamlined, Edge Animate CC and Edge Reflow Preview 3 add some workflow improvements, and Dreamweaver CC introduces a visual editing tool for CSS, PhoneGap build support, and other extra tools.
Company continues subscription push
Adobe has introduced a wide range of software updates, dropping the Creative Suite branding as the company continues to embrace its Creative Cloud subscription service. New features have been added to Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash Pro, After Effects, Muse and Dreamweaver, among other titles.
Adobe Flash update and more
This week in the MacNN forums, members discuss the most recent Flash update in the thread titled "Adobe Flash 11.7.7 update requires download?" which was started by "Hawkeye_a" who found it strange, especially after the recent malware scares. Yesterday "ibook_steve" reported that his Finder is showing that he has more free space on their hard drive than he does in reality.
Linux on a Mac could be hazardous
Yesterday in the MacNN forums, Grizzled Veteran "abbaZaba" questioned the veracity of a technician's report that Linux on Apple hardware could permanently damage the CPU. "Do I need Adobe Flash Player?" asks one Forum Regular who is trying to avoid a plague of pesky popups and other such annoyances.
Counteracts recently-discovered vulnerabilities
Apple has updated the plugin-blocking component in Safari to prevent earlier versions of Flash from being used, a new support document states. Lion, Mountain Lion, and Snow Leopard users are affected. The update comes in response to recently-discovered vulnerabilities in Flash that have already been patched by Adobe, but which could impact people who don't update on a regular basis.
Exploits affect both platforms, one targets the Mac specifically
Adobe has issued a patch to update Flash on both the Mac and Windows platform in order to fix two new vulnerabilities already being exploited "in the wild" to spread malware. One of the targeted attacks using the exploit works equally well against Mac users as it does against Windows users. Visitors are tricked into downloading and opening MS Word files that contain malicious Flash content, while the other vulnerability users a similar technique but only affects Windows users.
Flash drive with 1TB capacity accompanied by smaller drives
Memory manufacturer Kingston is to release what is claimed to be the world's largest-capacity USB 3.0 flash drive. The high-capacity DataTraveler HyperX Predator 3.0 will have a version shipping later this quarter with a total storage of 1-terabyte, while others in the range will ship at the same time at more standard capacities.
Google cites Flash as vector for malware
Google announced today a new, more secure version of Flash Player for the Mac version of its Chrome Internet browser. The update brings increased protection against malware, which Google noted in its announcement of the update is a major vulnerability with Flash. The search giant has been working with Adobe since 2010 to improve the security of Flash Player, and the new version relies on a new plug-in architecture aimed at making the feature more secure.
Media Player app launches video on website, iPlayer
The BBC is rolling out a way to help it's Android apps to function without Flash, by using Flash. A custom app called BBC Media Player (Google Play) will allow British users to watch and listen to BBC on-demand content from their mobile device, even when Adobe pulls Flash from Android for the second, and potentially final, time.
Samsung pushes mobile memory technology forward
Samsung Semiconductor has started fabricating 128GB flash storage chips and 2GB LPDDR3 DRAM modules for mobile devices. Currently, most high-end smartphones are shipping with a maximum of 64GB of internal storage, leaving users with media-heavy libraries unable to take their music collections with them. The introduction of the new modules should go a long way to alleviating this problem, although pricing will remain a key factor in adoption.
Adobe bows to partner pressure, revives mobile Flash temporarily
In a slight reversal, Adobe has returned its Flash media player to Google's UK Play Store. According to the BBC, the move comes following pressure from Adobe's "strategic partners," including the BBC itself, who asked that Adobe continue to support mobile Flash, as that is the technology underpinning many of their applications.
Possible flagship phone from Chinese manufacturer
Chinese handset manufacturer ZTE may be launching a flagship-level handset on Sprint later this fall. The ZTE Flash has shown up in what appears to be an internal document acquired by TalkAndroid. The document shows off a good deal of specs for the device, which represents something of a departure for ZTE, as the company's phones are usually more underpowered affairs.
Adobe to push ahead on post-Flash plans
Adobe Systems believes web standards have achieved most of what Flash is capable of handling. In an interview with CNET during Google I/O, the senior director of web platform and authoring at Adobe, Arno Gourdol, suggested that web standards are "close to 80 percent" of Flash, as the company moves away from its multimedia platform.
New Flash installs also being disabled on Google Play
Adobe will stop supporting Flash Player in Android from Android 4.1 onwards, with new installs of Flash on the mobile OS ceasing altogether in the near future. A company blog post has announced that there will not be a certified implementation of Flash Player on Jelly Bean; development and testing of Flash for the new version of Android has already ceased.
Problem may also involve Flash, reported to Apple
A member of the Apple Support forums posted yesterday that an employee of the company had told him that "the specific combination" of Google's Chrome browser, it's built-in version of Flash and the Intel HD 4000 chip found in the latest MacBook Airs was causing a problem that Apple was working to fix, with some owners reporting frequent crashes and even kernel panics as a result of the issue.
Backed by AES encryption, cloud storage software
On Thursday, SanDisk announced four new products enhancing existing product lines. Newly unveiled are the Extreme Pro microSDHC UHS-I card, the Extreme USB 3.0 flash drive, the thin Cruzer Pop USB Drive, and a new high-capacity Cruzer Glide. Each product emphasizes something different -- the SDHC card boasts fast read/write speed for a card, the Extreme USB 3.0 sports the new faster USB interface, the Cruzer Pop is extremely thin, and the extension of the Cruzer Glide line provides mass USB flash storage.
Patches solve issues with Flash, Flashback
Apple has posted two separate security updates for OS X Leopard. The first, Leopard Security Update 2012-003, disables versions of Flash without the most recent security updates, and instead provides a method of getting the latest release from Adobe. Apple's update is 1.11MB and requires at least OS X 10.5.8.
'Priority 1' issue affects PC, Mac, Android
A "critical" security issue that can cause the Flash plug-in to crash and allow a malicious program potential access to the system is addressed in the latest Adobe security update for both the Flash player standalone program for CS users and web browser plug-in for Macs, Windows and Android systems. Users are strongly advised to upgrade to version 22.214.171.124 on Macs and Windows, and v126.96.36.199 on Android (version 188.8.131.52 for Android 4.0).
Research may lead to faster, longer lived media
A thirty-year-old concept in computer memory may be making a resurgence. Material engineers at Johns Hopkins University have turned to diamonds to change the properties of elements used in phase change memory such as used in CD-RW and DVD-RW discs. This development could lead to higher data density storage systems that both last longer and react quicker than current optical, flash, or magnetic media.
Adobe CS6 ships within 30 days
Adobe began the week early with official launch details of Creative Suite 6 and Creative Cloud. The collection of professional tools are available for pre-order as of Monday and should ship within 30 days.