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Flash malware attacks increased 300 per cent in 2015

Someone obviously realised how easy it is to place malware through Adobe’s Flash platform, as the number of malware attacks through it rose by a stunning 317 per cent in the first quarter of 2015.

The McAfee Labs Threats Report May 2015 paper (PDF) says that the number of recorded Flash malware instances was almost 200,000 in Q1 2015, compared with 47,000 in Q4 2014.

Vincent Weafer, senior vice president of McAfee Labs, said: "With the popularity of a product like Flash, there comes a tremendous responsibility to proactively identify and mitigate security issues potentially threatening millions of users.

"This research nicely illustrates how the tech industry works together constructively to gain an advantage in the realm of cybersecurity – industry partners sharing threat intelligence, and technology providers acting on information quickly to help prevent potential issues.”

Flash has been drawing a lot of attention to itself with the frequent attacks on unsuspecting browsers done through the platform.

For example, back in February this year, one of the most popular websites in the United States, Forbes, was used for a similar attack.

It has a landing page called Thought of the Day, where each day a new inspiring quote was placed. Adobe Flash was used for the creation of this landing page, and it was abused to place malware on the computers of unsuspecting victims.

Back in 2010, Steve Jobs, the co-founder and chief executive officer of Apple, published an open letter called "Thoughts on Flash" explaining why Apple would not allow Flash on the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.