Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Old versions of Flash hang around

Secunia, a software security company, has a cool utility on their web site called the Software Inspector. It examines the software installed on your machine and reports whether it is vulnerable to known bugs (more commonly referred to as vulnerabilities or security holes).

I was shocked to see that Adobe's very popular Flash software (formerly from Macromedia) never gets uninstalled. My computer, although it had the latest and greatest version of Flash installed, also had four old versions of Flash, each with known bugs. Disgracefully sloppy work from Adobe.

The Secunia Software Inspector is nice enough to tell you the exact location of these old versions of Flash. Mine were all in folder

The current version, 9.0.28 is file Flash9b.ocx. File Flash9.ocx is an older buggy version of Flash version 9. I also had two versions of version 8 and even a copy of Flash version 6 on my machine. I deleted all the old versions.

The only problem with the Secunia Software Inspector is that it is a Java applet. Applets are much like ActiveX programs and Flash itself, they run inside a web page, you don't have to download them and install them. But Java is the least popular of these competing technologies and many Windows computers don't have Java installed.

This wouldn't be a problem except that Secunia does not test your machine first to see if you have Java installed (and it has to be a recent copy of Java, old ones won't work).

What to do? Visit my Java Tester web site to see if you have Java installed and, if you do, which version of Java it is.

No comments: