Tag Archive for: Adobe

As 2020 closed, so did the era of Adobe’s Flash. Adobe will no longer support Flash and has advised its users to uninstall the software entirely. Some say good riddance as Flash had many issues including bugs and security vulnerabilities. Others are concerned about what will happen to the millions of websites that still rely on Flash. Whichever side you are on, it really doesn’t matter as we are all in the same boat, Flash is no more.

The Golden Years

During Flash’s golden age, it had the responsibility of running a lot of the internet.  With the growth of Flash’s popularity, it also became a target for hackers. In terms of security risk, it quickly ranked among browser plugins like ActiveX and Java. In 2017, Adobe finally decided they couldn’t fix Flash so they announced Flash’s end of life (EOL).  

Here’s the official EOL announcement from Adobe back in 2020:   

Adobe will not issue Flash Player updates or security patches after the EOL Date. We recommend that all users uninstall Flash Player before the EOL date (see manual uninstall instructions for Windows and Mac users). Users will be prompted by Adobe to uninstall Flash Player on their machines later this year and Flash-based content will be blocked from running in Adobe Flash Player after the EOL Date.

Flash is Out, Why are you surprised?

It doesn’t come as too big of a surprise that Flash is now no more. Steve Jobs hated Flash so much he banned its use on some Apple devices. Jobs felt like Flash was cumbersome to use on a touch screen, unreliable, a security threat, and a drain on battery life. Furthermore, Flash didn’t update right away with smartphone technology. By the time it did get updated, the smartphone world had moved on to better technologies like HTML5.  About 80% of Google Chrome users in 2014 visited a site with flash.  That number dropped to just 17% by 2017.

Doomed Websites

According to rough estimates, there will be millions of sites still running Flash.  However, Adobe has created some tools that help web developers migrate their Flash content to HTML5 or other web technologies.  Also, BlueMaxima’s Flashpoint offers a “web game preservation project” to help archive tens of thousands of Flash-based browser games.  This project disseminates its own, open-source and “secure” player software, allowing Flash cronies to access their games despite the shutdown.  

How to Uninstall Flash

 Protect your system by uninstalling Flash.  Adobe has posted uninstall instructions for both Windows and Mac users. Here’s how it works:

  • Download an uninstaller application for Flash Player.  Make sure to choose the Adobe uninstaller. (There is a different one for each operating system; and if you’re on Mac, pay attention to which OS version you’re using.)
  • Run the uninstaller. (On Windows, you’ll first need to close out all browsers and programs that use Flash. On iOS, you’ll do that as part of the process.)
  • Then, you can verify that the uninstallation was successful by restarting your computer and then checking the status of Flash Player on your computer from the Adobe website.



  • Up until April 2019, 540 million Facebook users’ data was up for grabs. Thankfully the insecure data was removed from unprotected cloud servers when it was discovered by Bloomberg.  The insecure data included account names, IDs, and details about comments and reactions to posts.

  • First American left 885 million documents exposed on the web for years.  They were finally notified of the data exposure in May 2019 and immediately took the records down. Social security numbers, tax documents, and personal information was exposed in this breach.

  • In 2019, Dubsmash made a statement that almost 162 million users’ account holder names, email addresses, and hashed passwords were hacked. The data thieves posted the breached information on the dark web in February 2019.

  • Also in 2019, a hacker gained access to Zynga’s, a popular mobile game producer, customer account log-in information. The hackers not only gained access to log-in credentials but also usernames, email addresses, log-in IDs, some Facebook IDs, some phone numbers, and Zynga account IDs of about 218 million customers.  

  • In 2018, Under Armour had a data breach that affected 150 million users of the company’s mobile app, MyFitnessPal. Hackers stole usernames, passwords, and associated email addresses.  After the hack, the company’s stock plummeted.

  •  2018 was a busy year for hackers. Marketing and data aggregation firm Exactis, exposed 340 million records by building their database on a nonsecure server.  Almost 2 terabytes worth of data was exposed including email addresses, home addresses, phone numbers, and other personal information.

  • Also in 2018, Marriott (Starwood) hotels were hacked and over 300 million people who stayed at the property had their names, addresses, contact information, and passport numbers compromised. 

  • Last but certainly not least in 2018, Veeam, a data management firm, mishandled customer data. For 10 days “marketing databases [were] mistakenly left visible to unauthorized third parties”.  About 445 million records were exposed in this breach.

  • In March of 2017 River City Media, an email marketing company leaked 1.4 billion records.  While configuring a backup the company accidentally put their entire database online. 

  • In June of  2017, Deep Root Analytics, a conservative marketing firm, was hired by the Republican National Committee.  Unfortunately, Deep Roots did not keep voter information secure and voter information for 198 million Americans was publicly accessible.

  • In September of 2017, one of the largest data breaches in history hit Equifax.  Around 147 million consumers were affected (nearly 56% of Americans). Personal information such as names, social security numbers, birth dates, addresses, and numbers of some driver’s licenses was hacked from Equifax.

  • In 2016, Yahoo had the largest data breach in history.  Yahoo was the victim of multiple attacks that ended up exposing the names, email addresses, telephone numbers, and dates of birth of over a billion people.

  • Additionally, in 2016, a data breach compromised more than 412 million accounts from a network of mature-content sites. Some of the sites included AdultFriendFinder.com, Cams.com, iCams.com, Stripshow.com, and Penthouse.com.

  • In 2014, login credentials for 145 million users of eBay were stolen. Although the company wasn’t sure how many people were affected in all, eBay still chose to warn 145 million of its users to change their login credentials.

  • In 2013, Target went through a data breach that exposed 40 million credit and debit card accounts. According to cybersecurity guru Brian Krebs, Target got hacked after a third-party heating and air conditioning contractor working for Target was compromised.

  • Also in 2013, Adobe had 152 million records stolen in a data breach. Adobe declared at first that 3 million accounts were affected and later updated that number to 38 million.  The final count came from a database dump with over 150 million breached records.


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