Microsoft clarifies XP SP 3 Flash issue

Microsoft has finally broken its silence and explained which XP users need to upgrade their Adobe Flash Player software.

Amid concerns that users of its Window XP Service Pack 3 operating system may be vulnerable to online attacks, Microsoft has finally broken its silence and explained which XP users need to upgrade their Adobe Flash Player software.

The confusion started Monday, when handlers at the Internet Storm Center pointed out that Microsoft had quietly noted that the recent XP SP 3 was vulnerable to five Flash bugs patched in November 2006. Some took this to mean that if an XP system was updated to Service Pack 3, it would somehow wind up with an older, buggy, version of the Flash Player.

Microsoft originally declined to comment on the matter, but on Tuesday it reconsidered and said that this is not the case.

"Microsoft does not ship any version of Flash in the Windows XP Service Pack 3 update that customers use to update existing SP2 machines," the company said in a statement.

However some people who build new XP systems using SP3 will need to update their software. "A new system built using a copy of Windows XP with SP3 integrated will install the original Flash 6 that shipped with Windows XP Gold and will need MS06-069 installed from Windows Update," Microsoft said.

They should, however, be running the latest version of the player, 9.0.124.0, which includes bug fixes that protect against an attack currently being used by criminals.

Just last week Symantec mistakenly reported that attackers had discovered an unpatched zero-day flaw in the Flash Player. The bug turned out to be something patched in April, but nevertheless, it is being exploited in a fairly widespread attack, so having a vulnerable version of Flash is a dangerous proposition.

But that incident, combined with Microsoft's initial silence on the XP SP 3 issue, has made things tough for Windows users, said Susan Bradley, a Windows blogger who is chief technology officer with Tamiyasu, Smith, Horn and Braun, Accountancy. "It is very confusing," she said. "First we were really freaking out because we thought we had a zero-day," she said, "Now we've got this bulletin that says if you apply this, you're [in trouble]."

Users can find out if their PCs are running the latest version of the player by checking with this Adobe Web site.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Robert McMillan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2019

Bitdefender’s best-in-class security solutions have been awarded Product of the Year. Get cybersecurity that 500 MILLION users already have and trust!

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?