Is Adobe Flash Player Safe to Use

Warning
Starting from January 2021, Adobe has discontinued the Flash Player. It will block Flash content from running in Flash Player beginning January 12, 2021, We strongly recommend all users immediately uninstall Flash Player to help protect their systems.

Are you having trouble deciding whether to use Adobe Flash Player or not?

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Adobe Flash Player is somewhat controversial when it comes to security. Moreover, there are multiple fake update scams under the name that can seriously damage your computer.

Still, the real question is if it’s safe to use Adobe Flash Player or not?

Let us dig a little deeper to recognize the potential threats and vulnerabilities of this program. This article would discuss the controversies and how to protect our system from getting an infection.

So, without any further ado, let us get started.

What is Adobe Flash Player?

Adobe Flash Player is a popular program that enables users to embed multimedia files like graphics, vectors, videos, and much more on your browser. Well, it would be better to say that it was popular. After introducing HTML5, most users preferred it instead of the Flash player for the purpose. Well, it was unable to handle massive video files and complex animation. Thus, the end was inevitable.

However, in 2013 Adobe Flash Player was among the most comprehensive tools for embedding multimedia files into a website. The report says that it used to run on 400 million computers out of 1 billion. You might be wondering what it took to bring down such a giant, aren’t you?

Over the years, it lost reputation and became less and less popular by the day. The reason being, it wasn’t competitive enough to stand with the changing technologies. Soon it lost credibility as the industry standard and was forgotten by many. Still, it wasn’t the only reason for Adobe Flash Player to lost consumers. There is another reason, and it’s the security issues that came along with the player.

Hackers and unethical developers found ways to infect a computer using the then-popular program, which resulted in mass attacks on consumer devices. That straightaway affected the company reputation, and users chose to use a more secure alternative.

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Is Adobe Flash Player Safe?

Well, I’m not particularly eager to defame a program unless it is a malware in reality. However, when it comes to Adobe Flash Player, it leaves me no option. It was indeed unable to keep up with the pace. Still, developers could have solved the major security vulnerabilities, which was the main reason for its fall. Long answer short, no, Adobe Flash Player isn’t safe for a variety of reasons. Let us go through some examples to know it better.

XMRig Crypto Mining

One of the attack streaks reemphasizes the need for a secure web-based tool from the developers. As per the Palo Alto Network’s security update, a next-generation malware attacks the system by posing as an Adobe Flash update. It would install XMRig crypto mining code on the victim’s computer.

Undoubtedly, you can prevent this bogus update from infecting your computer by noticing a few minor signs. Since the fake update does not contain a digital signature from Adobe, it triggers the UAC pop-up. However, people often ignore such notifications and continue with the installation (not recommended). 

Well, the malware is a crypto miner that does not cause any harm to your data. It uses your system resources to mine cryptocurrency for the developers. That would, for sure, make your computer slow. So, apart from a slow-performing PC, there isn’t much to bother if you get this malware. Still, we recommend getting rid of it before it eventually fries your circuit boards.

Turla Spear-phishing

Not all malware programs are as simple as the miner one. In early 2018 security enthusiasts discovered that Adobe Flash is a gateway for the Turla APT group. The group was from Russia that attacked many of the US-based consumers in the active period. The group was infamously involved in many of the illicit online activities. Some examples are spear-phishing and dropping backdoor malware on a system.

The used a somewhat similar technique as the miner one by sending tweaked update packages to consumers.

The CrescentCore Attack

It is uncommon for Apple users to get an infection on their system. However, CrescentCore malware was able to attack the macOS. Developers bundled the rogue program with the Flash Update DMG package. Many sites, including some high-ranking ones, were distributing the corrupted version knowingly or unknowingly.

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It wasn’t clear what the program does, but it was certain that it was some kind of spyware. It was able to record all user behavior and sensitive information from the victim’s computer.

The CVE-2018-15982 Threat 

In December 2018, Gigamon ATR discovered a vulnerability in the base code of Adobe Flash Player. Developers were using the loophole to distribute CVE-2018-15982 to the victims. In this case, the tricky part was the developers were using a Microsoft Office document to spread the malware. 

An Overview of Adobe Flash Player

Are you still looking for using the Adobe Flash Player?

To be clear, understand that the program is more relatable to the WinRAR trial expired pop-up than a functional online tool. It is hardly useful. 

Yes, that is what Adobe Flash Player is currently. It is a vulnerable liability that can expose your computer to multiple threats. It served its purpose in the past and opened a window for more reliable online environments to make their place. Given the current scenarios, it is still hard to believe that the Shockwave Player coined the beginning of HTML5.

However, knowing all the Shockwave player’s vulnerabilities, it is still successful in making the place in the gaming industry. A large number of online gaming websites still rely on the Shockwave player as a go-to option. Not to mention, many of them might be doing it purposefully to keep track of user behavior. Always remember, if you are getting something for free online, then you are the product.

Well, to be straight, the best way to use the Adobe Flash Player would be disabling it completely. However, if you are still unsure, you can keep it as the ask-type permission. Then, your browser will ask your permission each time a website trie to access the flash player.

How to Deactivate/Disable Shockwave Flash in Chrome Browser

The best way to protect your device from malware that uses the Adobe Flash Player would be to disable it completely. Follow the below steps on your Chrome browser to do so:

  • Click on the menu (three dots).
  • Go to Settings.
  • Select Privacy and Security.
  • Open the Site Settings option.
  • Look for Flash under the Content Section
  • You can toggle that switch to set it as “ask first” permission or block flash completely. 

A Few Key Takeaways for Enhanced Cybersecurity

Disabling the Shockwave Player is always the recommended option. However, if it concerns you and you are supposed to use the Flash Player, you can do it more responsibly.

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Download Only Official Adobe Updates

As it’s proven that most Adobe scams are due to bogus updates, I would recommend installing the updates directly from the official website. You might have to check for updates once every two weeks or so to have the latest version. You can also check the version history on the Wikipedia page.

Install Adobe Flash Player Directly from Adobe

It would be best to install the Adobe Flash Player from the official site. Multiple websites offer the Flash PLayer installation package, but there is no assurance if it is genuine. Besides, try to stay away from programs that offer free Flash update for your computer.

Keep Your Player Up-to-date

Developers continually work on eliminating the bugs and loopholes from software programs. Many cyber attacks use security vulnerabilities from previous versions to infect a system. Therefore, it is a best practice to keep your application updates. We would recommend you look for updates once per week or twice a month, at least.

Your Browser Know Better

If you are using the Chrome browser, it can install the Flash update whenever available. Therefore, make sure you do not fall for any third-party pop-up that asks you to update the program. That would be malware for sure.

Install an Antimalware Solution

Despite following all security measures, we can not bypass the human error. Therefore, it is a best practice to keep a robust antimalware application active on your computer. It is your first line of defense in case of a malware attack. If you are not sure about which one to use, we recommend you to choose MalwareFox. You can know more about it on the homepage of this website.

Conclusion

Adobe Flash Player had its time when it was popular. However, now only limited websites use it. Most people won’t even encounter a website that uses the Flash Player on a daily basis. Still, it would be best to take all security measures to keep your system protected because of security vulnerabilities.

I hope you found this article helpful in deciding whether to use Adobe Flash Player or not. If you have any doubts or want to share your experience, feel free to comment down below. 

1 thought on “Is Adobe Flash Player Safe to Use”

  1. Thanks for the information. Very helpful. Unfortunately my problem is related to “HP solution center” which needs the “flash player” to work and HP didn’t bother to address this issue despite the fact Adobe announced its decision to offer no support after January 2021. So dumb me, I remove “flash player” not knowing I might need it for some programs and now I can’t find any “flash player download” from Adobe.
    Your suggestion to NOT download “flash player” from other sites, I will take your suggestion not to. Thanks again for the info!!

    Reply

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