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Adobe identifies major Flash Player vulnerability, says exploit being used in real-world attacks

Adobe has discovered a "critical" vulnerability affecting many recent versions of Flash Player, according to a new security bulletin, which warns that the exploit is already in use by hackers.

The unspecified flaw is being employed in "limited, targeted attacks," Adobe said. Affected Flash versions include and earlier for Mac and Windows, any 18.x update of the Extended Support Release, and any 11.x version for Linux.

The exploit can potentially cause a person's computer to crash, or given an attacker system control. Adobe says that it's developing a fix, which it hopes will be available sometime next week.

Apple has consciously avoided pre-installing Flash on Macs for years, citing the potential security threats involved. Indeed the company has chosen to leave Oracle's Java off of Macs for the same reason.

Flash has also become increasingly less relevant, often supplanted by technologies such as HTML5 video. The plugin is completely absent and unavailable in the iOS version of Safari.