Last week, many users would have noticed a warning message to upgrade Firefox to the latest version. They would have also been informed that Flash Player was out of date and were directed to a link to apply an update.
According to Firefox stats, more than 10 million people have clicked the link, which is probably doing more than Adobe’s own efforts to keep people up to date.
Flash is a major security threat on most computers. Adobe only decide to check for updates every month by default, as they consider this is enough for threats such as zero-day Flash exploits. If you don’t believe me just see Steve Jobs’ thoughts on Flash.
When directed to the download page for the Flash update, you would think that you were to address the Flash security alone. But Adobe’s tactics and practices are cunning and deceiving. Adobe first tries to shaft you by thrusting the Adobe Download Manager upon you, and then McAfee security scan. For most people, they would not have noticed the automatically ticked boxes that gives you more than what you have asked for.
I never really had a problem Adobe or McAfee but several months ago McAfee acquired Secure Computing and then shortly after that decided to discontinue the Snapgear product range . The Snapgear products were fantastic until McAfee changed and re-branded the software. People complained about the performance of the new software and their response was to ditch the product.
It seems that both Adobe and McAfee as a team have developed a new strategy called, “lets install unwanted software on the users PC without them knowing”. After all, they know all about what users want judging by the noise on their user forums. I thought these guys were big enough not to have to resort to this sort of thing but I am wrong 10% of the time. The only justification I can see is that they are truly concerned about user’s security and feel they to just shove AV software down your throats. These are the same guys who ditch a perfectly good security appliance such as the Snapgear UTM.
Maybe they are getting ready to move their offices to Nigeria to better sell their products.
I pity the IT workers that are going to have to deal with uninstalling this but I guess Adobe and McAfee would not give a shit. As somebody who fixes PCs for other people from time to time, I have on a number of occasions had to talk people over the phone on installing Flash because they literally couldn’t do it. Mozilla have succeeded in little more than annoying a lot of people.
Here is my tip. Read the permission screen VERY carefully, as you may have to UN-check default boxes to not download any unwanted software.
Be very mindful of the sneak-in-the-back-door tactics that Adobe and Mcfee will use after this press release.