Microsoft has today rolled out a security update the focuses on Adobe Flash Player. The unexpected release patches the player across multiple Windows versions. In the bulletin, the company says the update solved an issue that the company believed deserved a “critical” security rating.
This is an interesting and surprising update because Microsoft delayed its monthly patches. Instead of rolling out Patch Tuesday as normal, the company postponed it. In a statement, Microsoft claimed it needed to fix a last-minute problem.
There will be no Patch Tuesday this month, with the next roll out delayed until March 14. If the company felt the need to break that delay to fix the Flash Player, then it must have been a serious problem.
On Microsoft's TechNet bulletin, the company describes the update:
“[It] resolves vulnerabilities in Adobe Flash Player when installed on all supported editions of Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows RT 8.1, Windows 10, and Windows Server 2016.”
Changing Flash on Edge
Back in December, Microsoft announced that it is changing its policy for using Flash on the Edge browser. The Windows 10 web browser no longer load Flash by default, even if it is needed on a website. Edge now defaults to HTML5, although users can choose to load Flash manually for specific websites.
Microsoft took the decision to improve battery life, performance, and security. The decision mirrored a similar move by rival web browsers. Google announced that it will cut all Flash support in Chrome by this month.
Both Google and Microsoft have acknowledged the role Flash played in the growth of browsers. However, Mountain View started blocking Flash in Chrome 53 and made HTML the default standard from Chrome 55.