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Flash and Reader expected to be big targets

With more and more people conducting transactions and spending ever increasing amounts of time on the computer, hackers are increasingly targeting software and other computer services as a way to steal information and other nefarious tasks. The security community is working as hard as hacker groups to prevent attacks from compromising the computers of users around the globe.

Security firm McAfee has announced its 2010 Threat Predictions report. According to the report, in 2010 Adobe will surpass Microsoft as a target for hackers. Hackers traditionally target Microsoft software products like Office more heavily than applications and software from other vendors.

McAfee figures that the popularity of Adobe products like Flash and Reader, two of the most distributed applications in the world, will lead hackers to target Adobe applications more in 2010. McAfee reports, "Adobe product exploitation will likely surpass that of Microsoft Office applications in 2010."

Hackers will also step up attacks on social networking sites in 2010 believes McAfee as well as stepping up attacks on third party applications in general. Hackers are expected to take advantage of HTML 5 to create Trojans and botnets that are cross browser capable.

McAfee's Jeff Green said, "We're now facing emerging threats from the explosive growth of social networking sites, the exploitation of popular applications, and more advanced techniques used by cybercriminals, but we're confident that 2010 will be a successful year for the cybersecurity community."

Most attacks on social networking sites are expected to come in the form of rogue apps that are distributed across the network and use the names on a users friends list to trick them into clicking links they might not click otherwise. McAfee believes that cyber criminals will also begin using botnets that adopt a per-to-peer control scheme that are more distributed and resilient to techniques used against today's botnets by security firms.

Adobe software has already been targeted by hackers this year. In February a flaw in Adobe Flash was exploited allowing ads on eWeek to infect the computer of users.

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Adobe just does nothing about their issues
By dgingeri on 12/31/2009 12:27:04 PM , Rating: 5
The biggest reason Adobe will surpass MS in exploits is that Adobe simply doesn't do anything to fix their issues. They don't bug fix, either. Their programs malfunction, they just go on as usual.

They keep adding more and more bs programs and features to clog up people's systems, then don't fix the bugs or exploits. I avoid Adobe products as much as I can. Thank goodness for Flashblocker and those companies that use basic documents instead of that garbage Acrobat for web documents.

By Mitch101 on 12/31/2009 12:59:35 PM , Rating: 2
Tell me about it.

Our problem turned out to be Adobe Reader.

How to fix
Open Control Panel and go to Add/Remove Programs - Select Adobe Reader and CHANGE - In there you should find an option for PDF Maker for Outlook - You want to REMOVE the PDF Maker add on for Outlook.

I should also outline the Sharepoint search issues with Adobe along with it but the latest version corrects the abysmal performance.

RE: Adobe just does nothing about their issues
By Bateluer on 12/31/2009 3:36:45 PM , Rating: 2
I would agree, unfortunately, nobody ever gets fired for buying Adobe products. Many departments absolutely MUST have Photoshop, Acrobat Pro, etc.

Its the same thing with MS Office, people MUST have it.

And while I can suggest viable alternatives to Office(, Photoshop(GIMP), I have nothing for Acrobat Pro.

RE: Adobe just does nothing about their issues
By frontliner on 12/31/2009 4:02:56 PM , Rating: 4
Foxit is an awesome replacement for Acrobat.

RE: Adobe just does nothing about their issues
By ClownPuncher on 12/31/2009 6:41:40 PM , Rating: 2
Forgive me if I am wrong, but isn't Foxit just a reader? Acrobat is not a reader

By ClownPuncher on 12/31/2009 6:46:10 PM , Rating: 2
*not just a reader.

By Quake on 1/1/2010 10:06:28 PM , Rating: 2
By Hoser McMoose on 1/2/2010 11:20:13 AM , Rating: 2
Any thoughts on a replacement for Flash? THAT is the Adobe product I really want to dump!

I already use OpenOffice, GIMP and Foxit, so my computer is Adobe-free except for Flash. I've looked for third-party flash plugins that weren't crap, but haven't found any. For browsing I *always* use Flashblock, but unfortunately it doesn't actually block the flash completely. I had a rather nasty piece of malware on my laptop not to long ago and I'm 99% certain that it snuck through Flashblock and used an exploit in Flash to get at my system.

I *wish* I could disable Flash altogether, but sadly without it there are just way too many web pages that are entirely unusable.

RE: Adobe just does nothing about their issues
By eddieroolz on 1/3/2010 12:43:09 AM , Rating: 2
Silverlight would be a replacement, but some may dislike the fact that it's Microsoft.

By Smilin on 1/5/2010 4:55:08 PM , Rating: 2
Silverlight rocks and I don't care who it's from.

It's lightweight, fast, and (so far so good) secure. I'm not sure what else you could ask for.

By MamiyaOtaru on 1/3/2010 3:41:27 AM , Rating: 2
rather than a replacement perhaps one day Gnash or SWFdec will be useful as reimplementations

RE: Adobe just does nothing about their issues
By bug77 on 1/3/2010 11:14:22 AM , Rating: 1
It's almost here: HTML5 <video> element. IE aside (as usual) every browser can currently play video with no plugin installed. Check this out:

-1 to the Silverlight suggestion; that's just Flash from M$.

RE: Adobe just does nothing about their issues
By B3an on 1/3/2010 12:07:19 PM , Rating: 2
HTML5 video element will not make many sites switch to it over Flash, as Flash still has many advantages for video alone.

I'm a web dev and i consider it the best solution out there for many net based things. The only issue i have is security.
But ignoring security for a moment, i think the main reason some people dislike Flash comes down to it's greatness... because it's so good and relatively easy at integrating video, animation, and sound it's used for tons of annoying ads and the like. If there was anything else as good for this stuff, then that would simply be used instead, and then people would just hate that.

By bug77 on 1/3/2010 9:44:48 PM , Rating: 2

The reason people hate Flash is because it's bad. I can only use Flash on Linux together with FlashBlock. Otherwise it will completely use the CPU just for showing a couple pages worth of ads. Even the flagship Windows version has caused pretty much all the crashes I experienced with FF in the last couple of years.

Yes, it does things easy for developers (and that's no small feat), but it makes browsing hell for the end-user.

As for what HTML5 can and cannot do, I believe you're already aware of this:

By frobizzle on 1/5/2010 11:28:44 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed. Adobe doesn't give a damn about the people running their crapware.

The last I heard, they are planning on issuing updates once every three months. That is simply pathetic!

In other news...
By Motoman on 12/31/2009 12:26:33 PM , Rating: 5
...the intarweb predicts that McAfee will continue to hose PCs worldwide in the new year.

RE: In other news...
By R6Raven on 12/31/2009 12:29:21 PM , Rating: 2
...the intarweb predicts that McAfee will continue to hose PCs worldwide in the new year.

+1 Damn right...

RE: In other news...
By Barfo on 12/31/2009 1:40:34 PM , Rating: 5
At least they're not Norton.

RE: In other news...
By hellokeith on 12/31/2009 8:53:28 PM , Rating: 2
That deserves a 6. Can't tell you how many times I've had to wipe and reload people's Windows because Symantec Norton Antivirus Internet Spam Malware Popup-Blocker Firewall Gateway Super Deluxe Ultimate Security Edition did not prevent an infection, can't clean the infection, and superglues the OS together so nothing can be uninstalled.

My experiences w/ McAfee have been far less eventful. If I ran any kind of antivirus at home (Win 7 Ultimate x64 FTW!), I would use McAfee.

RE: In other news...
By TheEinstein on 1/2/2010 1:33:20 PM , Rating: 2
Oh crap Norton! *runs*


Back when I was a Windows Tech for Dell Computers, and the 100 gigabyte hard-drives just came out, a woman called in for help. She complained she could not install anything, her computer was slow as all could be, and she just got it.

I asked here what installs she had done. She had downloaded a torrent type program and had obtained 5 songs. Nothing else she insisted.

I directed her to tell me information. "Hard drive at 99% of capacity". Interesting "Folder Program files: 95 gigabytes". Very interesting. "Norton Antivirus: 85 gigabytes". *coffee spew*... wait the exe? "Yes the exe".

I had two companies I hated with a passion during my year of teching... AOL (may they burn in a special level of hell for AOL 9.0) and Norton (May they be forced to live in all levels of hell for claiming to do what they do not do, and doing what they claim they do not do!).

Norton... killed my Office experience for a while, until I found it was the problem.

Norton... killed my online gaming experience til I found it was the problem.

Norton... killed my computer by not finding the problem until it was to late.

Now I just go and search my computer and clean it myself. I check my .dll's, my start up, my registry, anything I can do by myself I do indeed do by myself...

RE: In other news...
By eddieroolz on 1/3/2010 12:44:48 AM , Rating: 2
Norton used to update every week back in the days of Norton 2004/2005. A whole freaking week being exposed to zero-day attacks.

When it updated, it made my computer run slower than a Pentium 2 and choked my broadband connection for about an hour. No clue why, but since then I vowed never to touch Norton even with a 100-mile pole.

RE: In other news...
By exanimas on 1/3/2010 12:09:28 PM , Rating: 2
Have you tried the newer versions of Norton? They uninstall in less than a minute. They're awesome!

On a more serious note, the newer versions seems to be nowhere near as bad as the ones from a few years ago, however, in my time as a tech I can't even remember how many times using the Norton Removal Tool (my favorite Symantec product) re-enabled someone's computer to access the internet. I guess their logic is that if you can't get online, nothing gets in!

Makes sense
By dagamer34 on 12/31/2009 12:12:55 PM , Rating: 5
Flash is on 3 platforms and most people don't think to update it (thankfully, Windows updates itself usually).

RE: Makes sense
By vapore0n on 12/31/2009 4:52:00 PM , Rating: 3
probably because adobe has that hidden updater program running in the background.

Adobe is becoming the next Symantec. Bloated crap that people still use because of how big companies adopted their software.

"We shipped it on Saturday. Then on Sunday, we rested." -- Steve Jobs on the iPad launch
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