Adobe releases Flash Player 10.2, patches vulnerabilities
After a prolonged beta phase, Adobe has presented the final version of Flash Player 10.2 for Mac OS X, Windows and Linux. The update is designed in particular to conserve power during video playback. Adobe has also developed and incorporated Stage Video, a "full hardware accelerated video pipeline". However, users will only benefit from it if developers first modify the playback routines for their Flash movies – Adobe has described how to do this on its developer pages.
Flash 10.2 offers multiple display full-screen support, hardware-accelerated rendering in Internet Explorer 9 under Windows, enhanced sub-pixel rendering for clearer text display and custom native mouse cursors. Update 10.2.152.26 of Flash Player for Windows, Mac and Linux fixes 13 security holes. However, there is bad news on the Mac platform for the users of old PowerPC models, as this device range will no longer be supported and an Intel Mac is now the minimum requirement.
Adobe has also released updates for Reader X and 9.4.1, Acrobat X, ColdFusion and the Shockwave player to close a multitude of security holes. In Reader and Acrobat alone, Adobe has corrected 29 flaws, most of which can, in principle, be exploited to inject and execute code.
However, Adobe says that the users of Reader X and Acrobat X have little to worry about as far as security threats are concerned. The sandbox (aka Protected Mode) blocks malware attacks by isolating exploits from the rest of the system. Nevertheless, it is advisable to install the updates for Windows and Mac. However, a version X for Linux is still not available and while updating to 9.4.2 affords some improvement, the update isn't scheduled for release until late February.
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