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Adobe patches 42 bugs in Reader, Flash

Gregg Keizer | Feb. 9, 2011
First fixes for flaws in Reader X, new version that includes sandbox

Adobe delivered security updates to ColdFusion and Shockwave as well. ColdFusion is Adobe's enterprise-grade Web application server software, and Shockwave remains a popular player for animated Web content.

"It almost seemed like Adobe had their patch cycle for a change," said Andrew Storms, director of security operations for nCircle Security, in a Wednesday interview conducted via instant messaging. "I was surprised by the coordination."

That coordination may have been a one-time deal, Adobe said, because only Reader, and its for-a-fee cousin Acrobat, are patched on a regular schedule.

"That said, we try to schedule security updates for other products on Patch Tuesdays whenever possible, said Adobe spokeswoman Wiebke Lips. "In this case, the Patch Tuesday timing worked for Flash Player, ColdFusion and Shockwave Player as well."

But while Storms applauded the one-day update for several Adobe lines, he pointed out that the company continues to offer only all-or-nothing security updates, unlike Microsoft, which separates its patches into numerous bulletins that users can deploy, or not, as they see fit.

"It's a take it or leave kind of thing, it's very black and white," said Storms. "Pretty much everything is remote code and we have no details to provide insight or decent mitigation if you have to hold off for some reason or another."

In that regard, Adobe's security updates are more like Apple's than Microsoft's.

"The only difference is that with Adobe we know when the lunch lady is going to be serving it up," said Storms, referring to Adobe's practice of scheduling regular updates, something Apple doesn't do.

Adobe Reader and Flash for Windows and Mac OS X can be downloaded using the links included in Tuesday's advisories. Alternately, Windows users can call up the programs' built-in update mechanisms to grab the new versions.

 

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