Various Security Updates in January


On Tuesday, January 13, Microsoft issued eight bulletins, including one marked critical, to address security issues in various versions of Windows. Included in the patches are fixes for two flaws in Windows 8.1 that Google recently disclosed as part of its Project Zero security program. Both flaws are also exploitable in other versions of Windows, although Google tested them in Windows 8.1 only. None of the bulletins address flaws in Internet Explorer, a rare occurrence for Microsoft.


Adobe has issued fixes for nine flaws in Flash Player. The flaws could be exploited to record keystrokes or take control of vulnerable systems. Flash Player is available for Windows and Mac OS X, and FlashPlayer is available for Linux. Flash will be automatically updated in Google’s Chrome browser and in Internet Explorer running on Windows 8 and 8.1.


Mozilla has released Firefox 35. The latest version of the browser includes fixes for a number of security issues. Several of the flaws have been rated critical. Mozilla has also issued updates for Firefox ESR, SeaMonkey, and Thunderbird.

Adobe Issues Updates for Flash Player and AIR

Adobe has released updates for its Flash player and AIR to address 18 security flaws. Updates are available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. The Most current version of Flash is now; the most current version of AIR for Windows, Mac, and Android is now Windows users who run browsers other than Internet Explorer (IE) may need to updates twice: once for IE and once for the other browser.

Read the full story in the news.

Adobe Releases Flash Player Update, Delays Reader and Acrobat Fixes

Last week, Adobe released an update for Flash to address a dozen critical flaws. Chrome and IE 11 users will find their versions of Flash automatically updated.  You can see which version you have installed here, or download Adobe Flash Player here.

Fixes for flaws in Reader and Acrobat that had been scheduled to be released last week are delayed until this week so Adobe can conduct further testing.

Read the full story in the news.

Flash Player Updates & Microsoft Security Updates


Due to recent security vulnerabilities in Flash Player, Adobe has released version ( for Linux) this week for all platforms. All operating systems on the now out-of-date versions are vulnerable and recommended to update to the latest version. Additionally because of the severity of these vulnerabilities, Apple has blocked all out-of-date Flash Player plug-ins for OS X.

From Apple: “Due to security issues in older versions, Apple has updated the web plug-in blocking mechanism to disable all versions prior to Flash Player and”

Install or check your version of Flash Player in your browser here.

For assistance, contact the Help Desk at 617.253.1101 or You can also submit a request online.


Last week on Patch Tuesday, July 8th, Microsoft released six updates to address 29 security vulnerabilities.

Systems affected:

  • Internet Explorer (all supported versions)
  • Microsoft Windows (all supported versions)

There was also updated firmware for all Microsoft Surface tablets, labeled “System Firmware Update – 7/8/2014,” available via Windows Update, improving various hardware issues.

Read the story in the news.

Oracle and Adobe’s First Critical Patches of 2014

Adobe-LogoOracle and Adobe will release critical patches along side Microsoft on Patch Tuesday. Expected updates:

Adobe Releases Security Updates for Flash, ColdFusion

Adobe-LogoAdobe has released security updates for Flash Player and ColdFusion to address four vulnerabilities. The Flash update is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. According to Adobe, the updates are not related to the recent theft of ColdFusion source code.

Read the full article online.

Adobe Network Attacked

Adobe-LogoAdobe’s security team recently discovered sophisticated attacks on their network, involving the illegal access of information for approximately 2.9 million Adobe customers, as well as source code for numerous Adobe products. Adobe believes attacks may be related. They are working diligently, both internally and with partners and law enforcement, to address the incident.


Adobe recommends these steps:

  • Reset your Adobe ID and password.
  • Protect yourself against phishing.

IS&T recommends using the same vigilance as always for safe computing. If you are taking proactive steps to secure your computer, including applying patches immediately after release, and using virus protection software, there is a good chance of avoiding any issues.

Read the full Adobe security alert.

An MIT colleague mentioned to me that the Adobe security alert was also emailed out to Adobe customers. If you did receive one, you might be tempted to ignore it, or assume it is a scam.

As with all emails that might seem fake, be sure to verify that the email came from an Adobe email address and that any links embedded in the message truly link to an web page. Other things to look for in “phishy” emails.


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