By Alexandra Burlacu | Mar 02, 2013 10:19 AM EST
Apple pushed an update to Safari's web plug-in mechanism to block older versions of the Adobe Flash Player due to security risks.
The fact that the Flash can be a security liability is not a big secret, especially with Adobe rolling out critical updates recently to patch vulnerabilities that posed threats to users. Some users, however, continue to use an older, potentially vulnerable version of the software instead of updating as soon as new patches become available.
Apple is well-aware of this practice, and aims to combat it with its latest move. Safari will now block older, potentially unsafe versions of the Adobe Flash Player, thus urging users to update.
Apple already did the same thing with Java a while ago, in a similar move to protect users against security vulnerabilities. With the new block on out-of-date Adobe Flash plug-ins, users who try to access Flash content using an older version of the plug-in will see a notification box informing them of the block. Users must then update if they want to proceed.
To make things clear and simple, Safari will notify users that they are using an outdated version of the plug-in, and offer the solution: a link to download the latest version available, complete with the most recent security updates. Once users agree and download the updated version, Safari will load the Flash content normally and all order will be restored.
Some users might see this as an inconvenience, but the move comes after Adobe issued some critical updates. Adobe uses the "critical" label for the most serious threats to let users know it's not something minor they can ignore.
Adobe issued a trio of such critical emergency updates, two of which were already exploited to attack users running Mozilla's Firefox, said the company.
Apple explains its new move in a support document posted to its website, noting that the goal is to protect users from a recent vulnerability. In other words, if users are not very interested in being on the safe side and updating to the latest versions of Flash available, Apple is. Update now, or say goodbye to Flash content in Safari.
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