Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

More Ails for Adobe's Flash

By Tim Beyers - Updated Apr 6, 2017 at 10:25PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

A new attack exposes yet another vulnerability.

Flash is under attack again. Only this time, neither Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) nor Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) play the role of assailant. Hackers are this week's miscreants.

Adobe Systems (Nasdaq: ADBE) this week warned of a vulnerability in the latest edition of Flash that could allow a hacker to take control a PC. In an advisory, the company said it had received reports of hackers targeting some Windows systems by inserting corrupted Flash files into Word documents sent via email.

For its part, Adobe says that the vulnerability doesn't involve Acrobat Reader or PDF files -- a popular target, according to security researchers -- an initial update covering Flash Player for Windows, Mac, Linux and Solaris will arrive by the end of the week. Additional updates for Adobe Acrobat and Reader are expected by April 25, with all remaining items available in the quarterly upgrade released on June 14.

Good for Adobe for addressing the issue. But for users, these sorts of emergency updates have become common. Adobe patched a similar flaw in  Flash Player, Reader, and Acrobat three weeks ago after learning of hackers using Flash files embedded in Excel and sent via email to distribute malicious code.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs has long criticized Flash for lax security and hogging compute resources and Google has thrown much of its streaming support behind its own WebM standard for video encoding. Even worse, Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) has joined both of its primary competitors in committing to HTML5 over the long term.

In other words, Flash is losing allies. You know what? As a user, I don't care. Sure, I sometimes miss it on the iPhone, but its lack of Flash support doesn't prevent me from craving Apple's iPad.

Frankly, that's what bothers me most about Adobe as an investor. Its troubles aren't the cause for freakout that a break in the iOS would be. Users don’t appear to see this as a hair-on-fire problem.

So thanks for the update, Adobe. But let's not make a huge deal out of this. Your online software, while important, just doesn't matter as much as it used to.

Do you agree? Disagree? Tell us what you think about Flash and its alternatives, as well as the companies best positioned to offer security in an insecure digital world using the comments box below. You can also rate Adobe in Motley Fool CAPS.

The Motley Fool recently introduced a free My Watchlist feature that allows users to stay ahead of the curve and receive up to date news on companies like Adobe, or any of its competitors. To get up-to-date company news and analysis, add Adobe to your watchlist.

Editor's note: A previous version of this article had incorrect information about the timing of the update Adobe is releasing to fix the security issue. The Fool regrets the error. 

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

Adobe Inc. Stock Quote
Adobe Inc.
$368.28 (-3.36%) $-12.79
Microsoft Corporation Stock Quote
Microsoft Corporation
$259.29 (-2.11%) $-5.60
Alphabet Inc. Stock Quote
Alphabet Inc.
$2,247.04 (-3.01%) $-69.63
Apple Inc. Stock Quote
Apple Inc.
$138.91 (-1.94%) $-2.75

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
S&P 500 Returns

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 06/28/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.