Loosing Flash

September 6, 2007 at 11:03 am | Posted in Computers, Media, Software, Web Apps | 1 Comment

In my post on keeping your computer current, I talked about the pain of keeping your computer current and safe. All those nice media players – Windows, Flash, Java, Acrobat, Real, Quicktime, and so forth, all require periodic updates to keep your system secure when you browse. However, many of them require they be running all the time to check. And an unfortunate number check when they start during bootup, further delaying your ability to compute. And more check when you launch the program itself, delaying its use. Gradually, they are refining this process but I myself find its easier to turn a lot of that automatic stuff off and establish a routine check. This ensures you are current but not hassled when you want to work nor your system bogged by all those players.

But don’t take away the hassle and not check – that invites a MUCH bigger hassle.

As I mentioned in the prior post “Heres a site that inspects your most critical applications for security updates. Its a free browser based Java application. http://secunia.com/software_inspector/

Judging by some of the feedback, even knowledgable computer users end up having gaping holes in their media players. They are busy updating the latest versions but many programs like Flash and Java ADD versions, they don’t update. So you end up with Flash 5, 6, 7, 8 & 9. on your computer. Only the latest is “active” so getting updates. The remainder site quietly waiting for unintended use.

After the Secunia inspection, I uninstalled some further older version of Java and other bits but discovered there was no apparent Flash uninstaller. They simply stated that only the current version is registered so its the only one to update. But given that Secunia was able to find all prior versions and their locations, I don’t see why an unregistered version could not be used.

In the latest issue of Windows Secrets Newsletter, a reader discovered an Adobe page with Flash uninstallers. It was set up for Developers to test with but the uninstallers are there.

I tried it and it appeared to uninstall only the current version (9). However, when I reran Secunia, the older versions that had been reported present before were now gone. There was however, still one Flash version 8 sitting in the Dreamweaver plugins. Thats a simple matter to delete. I also reviewed the mentioned Technote for manual uninstall but my searches showed neither swflash.ocx nor flash.ocx, the earlier players.

Secunia also discovered another Java update had left another insecure version behind (uninstalled now) and an Opera update. I’ll have to get into the habit of uninstalling the old after I upgrade Java. It also discovered an insecure version of Firefox. Seems I managed to install one update inside a subfolder of the prior one, rather than over top. (I have a lot of software so only install Microsoft products into Program Files, organizing others by type or if there is a lot of them, by brand. I evidently did one update sloppily or the update installer was confused.)

Now I just have to reload Flash 9. I’m now current with all key programs. Whew. There was a fair list when I first tried Secunia.

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  1. As a follow-up note, the Flash 8 Plugin I deleted from Dreamweaver was restored the next time I started it. So Dreamweaver REQUIRES an insecure version. I’m contacting them about it. Nothing in their Support.

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