Adobe Systems Inc has issued an emergency alert to users of its Flash software for Internet browsers after discovering a security flaw that was being exploited to deliver ransomware to Windows PCs.
The ransomware encrypts data and lock up computers, and then demands high amount payments to unlock each infected PC. Adobe’s new patch fixes the previously unknown security flaws and bugs.
Adobe urged users of Flash on Windows, Mac, Chrome and Linux computers to update the product as quickly as possible after security researchers said the bug was being exploited in “drive-by” attacks that infect computers with ransomware when tainted websites are visited.
A Japanese security software maker Trend Micro Inc. said it had seen attackers exploiting the flaw to infect computers with a type of ransomware known as ‘Cerber’ early in March.
The company explained on its blog that Cerber “has a ‘voice’ tactic that reads aloud the ransom note to create a sense of urgency and stir users to pay.”
Ransomware schemes have boomed in recent months, as they use increasingly sophisticated techniques and tools used in such operations.