There are thousands of threats to your security and privacy in the wilds of the Internet, but two big ones have recently popped up that need your immediate attention. Don’t think you can ignore these; if you don’t take steps to stay safe, hackers will have no trouble invading your life.
The first threat is a new password scam that lets a hacker bypass two-factor authentication. As a reminder, two-factor authentication, also called two-step verification, is a security option on most major sites that keeps a hacker from easily using your password if they get ahold of it in a data breach or somewhere else.
While 2FA is a powerful addition to your security, and one I recommend you turn on for every account that supports it, it does have a weak spot: You.
The second threat should sound familiar: It’s a security flaw in the Adobe Flash browser plug-in. You just have to visit a website with malicious Flash code and hackers can bypass your security and attack your computer. It can even happen on a legitimate site that’s running a malicious ad.
Adobe released a fix last week, but I know a lot of people haven’t installed it yet. If you haven’t, you need to do it right now. Chinese hackers are already using it, and other hackers have included the exploit into a popular hacking toolkit. In other words it’s going to be everywhere online in no time.
Seriously, get that Flash patch now
Just last week, we told you about a major Flash security issue that hackers were already using to infiltrate computers. Now we know that the problem is even worse than originally thought. Luckily, Adobe has issued a patch to fix the problem. If you haven’t downloaded this critical update, you need to do it right now.
The flaw has already been exploited by a Chinese hacker group, and now it has been added to the Magnitude exploit kit, too.
Exploit kits such as Magnitude let inexperienced malware authors build software without having to write the exploits, and this has already been used to try and install ransomware on victims’ computers.
Adobe has confirmed that hackers are exploiting the flaw to attack computers. Right now, it appears the cybercriminals are targeting people using Internet Explorer on Windows 7 and Firefox on Windows XP.
Even if your browser or operating system isn’t on that list, you need to update to the latest version of Flash to keep your computer safe. Click here to find out how to update Flash on your computer.
Or, you could get rid of Flash altogether, because it’s not a critical piece of software for all users anymore. In some cases, it’s more trouble than it’s worth.
Because Flash is installed on nearly every computer and in almost every browser, it’s become a tempting entryway for hackers looking to attack computers. If hackers find a weakness in Flash that lets them break into computers, they can quickly attack hundreds of millions of computers before Adobe releases a fix.
Check out this Tip that explains why and how to disable Flash on your computer to stay safer.