Adobe Flash attacks

News is breaking online tonight that spammers are now using flash based advertising to “poison” your clipboard when your computer surfs to a website with the affected ads. The poisoned clipboard will not allow you to copy or paste anything other than their ad until you reboot your computer (windows) or restart your browser (macintosh).

From ZDnet:

“Malicious hackers are using booby-trapped Flash banner ads to hijack clipboards for use in rogue security software attacks.

In the Web attacks, which target Mac, Windows and Linux users running Firefox, IE and Safari, hackers are seizing control of the machine’s clipboard and using a hard-to-delete URL that points to a fake anti-virus program.

According to victims on several Web forums, the attack is coming from Adobe Flash-based advertising on legitimate sites — including Newsweek, Digg and MSNBC.com.”

Read the full article here.

I’ve tested it and it messes up the clipboard on both Safari and Firefox. The solution seems to be to use “Flash Block” on Firefox – and better – to go to the security tab in Safari and turn off “plugins”.

Safari runs lots faster without having to load the flash animation, and better yet, you don’t see the annoying floater ads anymore.

Maybe this will get fixed, and maybe I’ll turn flash on again.

In the meantime sites like YouTube etc are going to have to be dealt with by actively turning on flash when you need it and then turning it off again when you leave that site.

Author: Nicholas Knisely

Episcopal bishop, dad, astronomer, erstwhile dancer...

One thought on “Adobe Flash attacks”

  1. Taking your advice, I turned off plugins on Safari and enjoyed the quiet, until I ran into a favorite blogger who had inserted video links I really wanted to look at. Before remembering that I’d turned off plugins I muttered unkind things about his incompetence for telling me about a link and providing space for it but not including it, following the strict rule of always blame someone else first. So I’m back to plugins and taking the risk.
    CP

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