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Adobe fixes critical Shockwave bugs with neanderthal patch

Manual uninstall required

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The critical patches for Adobe Systems software keep coming. This time, they fix serious security bugs in the company's Shockwave Player.

Adobe on Wednesday pushed out updates for Shockwave 11.5.2.602 and earlier on Windows and Mac operating systems. The patches fix multiple integer overflow and buffer overflow flaws that can be exploited to execute malicious code on computers that use the software.

Adobe is strongly urging users to upgrade, but the pill they are recommending isn't the easiest to swallow. Unlike the vast majority of today's patches, the Shockwave fix requires users manually uninstall the out-of-date version, reboot their systems, and then install the latest version. For an application with more than 450 million installations, that's downright primitive.

More importantly, making it inconvenient for users to upgrade is a guarantee that a sizable portion of them will remain vulnerable. Adobe has recently unveiled an automatic updater for its Reader application. It's about time the software maker made seamless updating for Flash and Shockwave standard too.

The critical patch, assuming it's installed, will update Shockwave to version 11.5.6.606. Adobe thanked Alin Rad Pop of Secunia Research for reporting the bugs. ®

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