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Why you should update Adobe Flash Player on your computer


Late last week, Adobe released a security update to its Flash Player to fix a vulnerability that allows hackers to remotely take control of people's computers.

If you didn't happen to update Flash on your computer over the weekend, now would be a good time.

Adobe was made aware of the problem, which affected nearly all versions of Flash for Windows, Mac and Linux machines as early as Tuesday. The company described it as "a critical vulnerability" and said that "successful exploitation could cause a crash and potentially allow an attacker to take control of the affected system."

Researchers at Trend Micro reported that the security flaw was being exploited as part of Operation Pawn Storm, a long running cyber espionage campaign that has targeted organizations and government institutions, such as NATO and the White House, foreign affairs ministers and "high-profile political personalities in Ukraine and Russia." Though well known political and economic targets are most at risk, the flaw could leave anyone open to an attack that could potentially give the actors remote control of their computers.

An Adobe security bulletin said the vulnerability was only "being used in limited, targeted attacks." Still the company recommended users update to the newest version of the software, which was released Friday.

Users can update the Flash player by visiting the Adobe update center or by accepting a desktop update notification. Adobe said that Flash Player installed with Google Chrome would be automatically updated to the latest Google Chrome version.

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