Vulnerability that lets hackers control your PC found in Flash Player, how to stay safe

Adobe has swung into action and is working on a fix, but does not expect to be able to deliver it before July 8.

A screenshot of the vulnerability.

Reports say security firm Symantec has issued a warning to PC users to disable Adobe Flash, following the discovery of a severe vulnerability in the popular browser plugin to which there is no fix yet. Adobe has confirmed the existence of the problem and has categorized it as "critical". Attackers who exploit it would be able to take control of PCs and run malicious code.

Sources say Adobe has swung into action and is working on a fix, but does not expect to be able to deliver it before July 8. That leaves plenty of time for attackers to try and target PCs around the world. Both Adobe and Symantec have strongly recommended that users disable Flash altogether in the meanwhile.

According to various reports, the most recent version of Adobe Flash Player for Windows and OS X is 18.0.0.194, and for Linux is 11.2.202.468, all of which have been confirmed to be affected. Users should verify that they update beyond these versions as soon as Adobe releases a fix.

Symantec has further provided instructions for users to disable the Flash plugin. In Google Chrome, type 'chrome://plugins' into the address bar and hit Enter. Find the entry for Flash and click disable.

Firefox users need to click 'Add-ons' in the browser menu and disable Shockwave Flash on the Plugins tab. Internet Explorer users should click 'Tools > Manage Add-ons' and disable Shockwave Flash Object in the All Add-ons list. The steps need to be taken for each Web browser a user has installed.

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