Flash Player 10 Makes Flash Exciting Again

Article by George Norman (Cybersecurity Editor)

on 21 Oct 2008

As of this week, the 10th installment of Adobe?s Flash Player is available for download. I am glad to say that the AFP 10 is not a disappointing as many of us were expecting it to be.

David Wadhwani, General Manager and VP of the Platform Business Unit with Adobe had this to comment: Designers and developers know if they deliver video, online games, rich Internet applications (RIAs) and other interactive experiences using Adobe Flash Player, they can reliably reach the entire Web. Flash Player 10 continues to set the pace for Internet innovation, and we?re excited to see how the community is already using it to create an entirely new class of experiences not previously achievable on the Web.

One of the main issues that the Adobe team had to address was the problem of security. All Flash Player versions up to suffered from "clickjacking", a vulnerability which was deemed by Adobe as a critical issue. This means that someone with malicious intent and proper programming skills could bypass Adobe?s security features and gain access to the user?s webcam and microphone. To me this sounds like the wet dream of a voyeur, or someone with a Big Brother fetish.

If you already use Flash Player, then it makes sense to upgrade to version 10. First of all this will fix all the security holes within the software. Apart from the clickjacking vulnerability, there are also issues with port-scanning, clipboard API and privilege escalation attacks. If you do not want to switch to Flash Player 10 and insist on using version 9, then you must know that a security fix for the vulnerabilities presented above will be issued sometime next month. Until then, Flash Player 9 is vulnerable to attacks.

There is another reason to upgrade: all the cool new features, such as 3d effects, advanced text support, color management, custom effects and custom filters. Even if you have a rather sluggish computer, the video playback is now smoother than ever before.

With the improved visual performance and awesome new 3D effects in Adobe Flash Player 10, we can now use Adobe Flash CS4 Professional to create cool Web experiences that were previously impossible. For us, this means fewer boundaries to the creative process,? says Tim Barber, Creative Director with Odopod.

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