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Flash Player Alert - 2009-11-20

At Benson & Associates, we like to keep you updated on new developments in technology, including new threats that could compromise your business. We have been investigating a new threat which involves the potential for hackers to upload malicious content using Adobe Flash to any website that allows users to upload information, such as forums, social networking sites and YouTube. Once the hacker uploads the Flash file (for example, an avatar meant as a personal signature or picture), the malicious code can run, affecting data on the server and content on the website. Anyone viewing the avatar is at risk as well.

Rest assured that any websites created by Benson & Associates are NOT affected by this flaw, as we build our websites with safety and security as top priorities.

Adobe Flash has stated that this flaw can NOT be "patched", but that web designers and users must educate themselves on how to avoid this potential threat.

At this point, the threat is simply that, a threat. We have found no instances of this actually occurring, but wanted to advise our clients of the potential, and how to protect themselves. The programs used to combat this potential threat have some drawbacks - for example, if viewing a webpage with a Flash object, you may be prompted whether to allow or disallow the object to run. Alternately, it will automatically block the running of the object, and you will have to toggle to be able to view it (much like a pop-up blocker). This WILL add more clicking to your web-browsing.

As we continue to monitor the threat, we will advise you if we feel you MUST install the "flash stoppers" below, but for now it is just an option you may or may not want to use.

The following programs prevent unintentional viewing of Flash files by giving you a toggle to activate or ignore the Flash object:

For users of Internet Explorer, the program Toggle Flash is available at:  

For users of Mozilla (Firefox), the program NoScript is available at: 

For more information on this potential threat, please click here.

If you have any questions about the information above or about other Internet Security risks, please contact Benson & Associates helpdesk at 1-877-247-1664.