Security Risks: Windows 8 Has Not Received Important Flash Update, Still At Risk
August saw Adobe release a critical new security update for Flash that has so far been integrated in to all browsers everywhere, except in IE10 in Windows 8.
Windows 8 IE10 Still Waiting To Receive Critical Flash Update
Adobe released Flash Player 11.4 last month with some critical security patches that have so far been pushed out to all browsers that use Flash, including Google’s various implementations of the Chrome browser and Mozilla’s Firefox and Apple’s Safari. It seems like only IE10 on Windows 8 is lagging behind.
Microsoft may be not pushing out the update to IE10 until next month and given that it is just about a month and a half to go before the official release of Windows 8, it is understandable that Microsoft would no longer focus as heavily on supporting evaluation builds such as Windows 8 Release Preview. But then the internet debates that the OS is out there for various users to evaluate and test out the real world. So Microsoft is putting users at risk by not updating IE10.
Now the problem is that all other browsers use Flash as a plugin and anybody who has enabled auto-update has received the update automatically already. But IE10 on Windows 8 works differently. It has Flash as a built in component, which means the update has to come from Microsoft. Google does something similar with Chrome and they have resolved this issue by tying up such updates with Chrome’s own channel so that it gets pushed out effortlessly along with browser updates.
Microsoft’s official response to this problems states that the problem will be fixed within the GA (General Availability) timeframe. It will be pushed out through the Windows Update mechanism and will hence reach users as part of the general update stream.
But then are Windows 8 users really all the at risk as Mac users were during the flashback SNAFU? No, not really. Windows 8 comes with built in anti-virus for precisely stopping malicious code and then users can always depend on third-party AV. Besides, on the Metro side, the browser only allows a handful of whitelisted websites to run Flash; every other instance of Flash is blocked automatically. So Windows 8 users are not completely out in the open without any cover.