Adobe has released a security update which you need to apply at once, especially if you ever visit Tumblr, eBay, Instagram or pretty much any website using Adobe Flash.
The security patch is in response to “Rosetta Flash,” a software exploit which security blogger and Google engineer Michele Spagnuolo discovered. Spagnuolo said Rosetta Flash is “a tool for converting any SWF file to one composed of only alphanumeric characters in order to abuse JSONP endpoints, making a victim perform arbitrary requests to the domain with the vulnerable endpoint and exfiltrate potentially sensitive data, not limited to JSONP responses, to an attacker-controlled site. This is a CSRF bypassing Same Origin Policy.”
Translation, courtesy of Gizmodo: “Basically, the flaw … made it possible for hackers to steal the cookies that authenticate returning users on sites like eBay, Twitter, Tumblr, and thousands more.”
Adobe quickly responded by releasing an updated version of Flash to patch the vulnerability.
Even so, some Adobe users might not be protected unless they take active steps to ensure it. As security blogger Brian Krebs noted:
Flash has a built-in auto-updater, but you might wait days or weeks for it to prompt you to update, regardless of its settings. The most recent versions of Flash are available from the Adobe download center, but beware potentially unwanted add-ons, like McAfee Security Scan. To avoid this, uncheck the pre-checked box before downloading, or grab your OS-specific Flash download from here.
Windows users who browse the Web with anything other than Internet Explorer may need to apply this patch twice, once with IE and again using the alternative browser (Firefox, Opera, e.g.).
If you haven't updated your Adobe Flash yet, stop reading and go do it, right now.