The Tech News Blog

November 12, 2013

Facebook Pushes Password Resets After Adobe Hack

Data Breaches

More than a month after Adobe suffered a massive security breach, Facebook is pushing users to update their password and security settings.

Though Facebook was not directly involved in the Adobe hack, the social network is taking precautions for those members who used the same email and passcode sequence for Facebook and Adobe.

"We actively look for situations where the accounts of people who use Facebook could be at risk — even if the threat is external to our service," a Facebook spokesman told PCMag. "When we find these situations, we present messages to people to help them secure their accounts."

According to that notice, users must answer additional security questions and change their password. "For your protection, no one can see you on Facebook until you finish," the message (below) reads.

Early last month, Adobe revealed that it had recently suffered a massive security breach which compromised the IDs, passwords, and credit card information of nearly 3 million customers, as well as login data for an undetermined number of accounts.

The organization later amended its estimate, increasing the original number from nearly 3 million to 38 million. As Facebook security engineer Chris Long chimed in on Krebs's blog, offering behind-the-scenes clarity about the situation.

October 30, 2013

Adobe Hack Actually Hit 38 Million (Not 3M)

Adobe Logo

Adobe on Wednesday revised its estimate of how many users were affected by a recent hack, increasing that number from nearly 3 million to 38 million.

"So far, our investigation has confirmed that the attackers obtained access to Adobe IDs and what were at the time valid, encrypted passwords for approximately 38 million active users," an Adobe spokesman said in a statement.

All affected active users have been notified, and passwords were reset to encrypted keys, Adobe said.

"We believe the attackers also obtained access to many invalid Adobe IDs, inactive Adobe IDs, Adobe IDs with invalid encrypted passwords, and test account data," Adobe said. "We are still in the process of investigating the number of inactive, invalid and test accounts involved in the incident. Our notification to inactive users is ongoing."

At this point, Adobe said it has no evidence of "unauthorized activity on any Adobe ID account involved in the incident."

October 3, 2013

Adobe Hacked, Data for Millions of Customers Stolen

Adobe Logo

Adobe said Thursday that it recently suffered a massive security breach which compromised the IDs, passwords, and credit card information of nearly three million customers.

"Our investigation currently indicates that the attackers accessed Adobe customer IDs and encrypted passwords on our systems. We also believe the attackers removed from our systems certain information relating to 2.9 million Adobe customers, including customer names, encrypted credit or debit card numbers, expiration dates, and other information relating to customer orders," Brad Arkin, Adobe's chief security officer, wrote in a security alert.

Arkin said the unknown attackers made off with encrypted credit and debit card numbers, "[a]t this time, we do not believe the attackers removed decrypted credit or debit card numbers from our systems."

The software firm also said "source code for numerous Adobe products" was stolen in a separate intrusion that could be related to the theft of customer information.

Adobe said it had alerted federal law enforcement authorities of the attacks as well as informing its banking and payment processing partners. The company said it would reset "relevant customer passwords" as a precaution, with affected customers due to receive email notifications instructing them to change their Adobe passwords. Arkin also recommended that any affected customers who use the same password for other sites as they do for Adobe change their login details for those other sites as well.

May 13, 2013

Online Petition Against Adobe’s Creative Cloud Approaches 9,000

creative cloud

It's barely been a week since Adobe officially announced its intent to bury the company's Creative Suite software and replace it with Creative Cloud – a subscription-based offering that balances an increased frequency of updates against a $49.99 monthly cost for accessing the application package ($29.99, for those taking advantage of Creative Cloud's first-year promotional pricing).

To say the move is riling up some of Adobe's rank-and-file is a bit of an understatement. And in the time-honored Internet tradition of, "when things go wrong, we make an online protest," a petition over at has popped up for those who wish to rail against Adobe in the hopes that it might change the company's mind.

Spoiler: We recommend those irritated by Adobe's change not hold their breath while they wait for the company to reverse its decision.

The petition, which is up to nearly 9,000 online supporters as of this article's writing, claims that, "Adobe is robbing small business, freelancers, and the average consumer. They do not seem to understand that every company is a not multi-national, multi-billion dollar corporation that has an infinite amount of resources."

March 12, 2013

Microsoft Loosens Restrictions on Flash in IE10

Internet Explorer (IE) logo

Microsoft this week loosened its restrictions on Adobe Flash within Windows 8, allowing the program to run within the immersive UI (previously known as Metro) version of its new OS by default.

"As we have seen through testing over the past several months, the vast majority of sites with Flash content are now compatible with the Windows experience for touch, performance, and battery life," Rob Mauceri, group program manager for Internet Explorer, wrote in a blog post.

Going forward, Microsoft will only block Flash content on a "small number" of sites that are incompatible with the Windows experience for touch or that depend on other plug-ins. That's a switch from the approach Microsoft embraced prior to the launch of Windows 8, which blocked Flash in IE10 unless a site had been whitelisted by Microsoft.

The desktop version of IE10 on Windows 8 has always permitted Flash and is unaffected by the move.

The issue dates back to Sept. 2011, when Microsoft announced that the immersive UI (then known as Metro) version of IE10 on Windows 8 would not support plugins, meaning it would not support Adobe Flash. At the time, Dean Hachamovitch, head of Microsoft's IE team, said "the experience that plug-ins provide today is not a good match with Metro style browsing and the modern HTML5 Web."

March 4, 2013

Apple Blocks Access to Older Versions of Flash Player on Safari

Adobe Flash logo

Apple has blocked access to older versions of Flash Player in order to avoid exposing Mac users to a recently patched vulnerability found within Adobe's video player.

"Adobe Flash Player updates are available that address a recently identified Adobe Flash Player web plug-in vulnerability," Apple said in a note posted to its support website this weekend.

To protect those who have not yet installed the update, however, Apple has blocked older versions of Flash Player on Mac OS X 10.6, OS X Lion, and OS X Mountain Lion. Those who try to view Flash content on those operating systems might encounter a "Blocked Plug-in" alert. If you click on the alert, Safari will tell you that your Flash Player is out of date, and provide the opportunity to update.

February 11, 2013

Australia Probes Apple, Microsoft, Adobe Over High Prices


Australian officials are looking into whether Apple, Microsoft, and Adobe charge too much for their products in the region.

The committee for infrastructure and communications within Australia's House of Representatives will hold a hearing on Friday, March 22 to examine the issue. In a news release, the committee said it has issued summonses to the three tech firms to appear at that hearing.

"The Committee is looking at the impacts of prices charged to Australian consumers for IT products – Australian consumers often pay much higher prices for hardware and software than people in other countries," the committee said. "The Committee has been examining claims made by organizations such as CHOICE, and the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network."

CHOICE, which describes itself as "the people's watchdog," said in a statement that it welcomed the committee's probe. The group said the government's investigation will focus on the price of computers, software, games, and digital music "to force international companies to front up and explain their higher prices in Australia."

June 29, 2012

Adobe Drops Flash Player Support in Android 4.1

Adobe Flash Icon

The most recent version of Android, dubbed Jelly Bean, may have the most up-to-date features, but it won't have support for Adobe's Flash Player.

Adobe confirmed in a Friday blog post that "there will be no certified implementations of Flash Player for Android 4.1."

Typically, Adobe's partners will integrate Flash Player into their devices at the factory level or via a system update. Android-based devices without this certified version of Flash have usually been able to download it via the Google Play store, "and in most cases it worked," Adobe said.

"However, with Android 4.1 this is no longer going to be the case, as we have not continued developing and testing Flash Player for this new version of Android and its available browser options," Adobe said.

As a result, starting Aug. 15, access to Flash Player via Google Play will be limited to devices that already have the program installed.

"Devices that do not have Flash Player already installed are increasingly likely to be incompatible with Flash Player and will no longer be able to install it from the Google Play Store after August 15," Adobe said.

April 18, 2012

Adobe Plans Monday Launch Event for CS6, Creative Cloud

Adobe Photoshop CS6

Adobe will launch Creative Suite 6 (CS6), the next version of its market-leading digital media software, next week in San Francisco, along with its new Web-based subscription service, Creative Cloud.

The April 23 event, to be hosted by Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen, will also be streamed over the Web beginning at 10 a.m. Pacific Time on Adobe's launch site. The presentation will be available later for replay at

Not only will all the apps, such as Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, and Premiere Pro be demonstrated to the public for the first time, but Adobe is staging a San Francisco scavenger hunt, with prizes of $10,000 and a free lifetime subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud.

The Creative Cloud service gets users all of the CS6 apps—Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, DreamWeaver, Premiere Pro and the rest—along with updates, starting at $49.99 per month for an individual user. The service includes all of Adobe's mobile apps, too, as well as online collaboration and project hosting capabilities.

March 22, 2012

Photoshop CS6 Beta Unveiled With Video, Content-Aware Tools

Adobe Photoshop CS6

The future of creative image editing is upon us: Adobe Systems today announced the availability of a Photoshop CS6 Beta.

The new version of the leading image-editing software for Windows and Macintosh updates the interface, adds some stunning new image-manipulation tools, brings video editing into the program, and ratchets up performance.

Most impressive among what's new in Photoshop CS6 are its "Content Aware" tools. Content Aware Move lets users grab an object in a photo and relocate or duplicate it, while recreating the existing background. Similarly, Content-Aware Patch can remove an object (or person) from an image, replacing it with a background consistent with the rest of the photo.

The new video tools are surprisingly rich for what is primarily a still image editor: They let you join and split video clips, add fade transitions between them, and even apply any of Photoshop's image adjustments to the video—brightness, contrast, tint, and so on.

New layer options such as layer search, font, and paragraph styling, and even more lifelike brushes and pencils, will give visual artists more creative possibilities. And the interface has been redesigned for more simplicity, less clutter, and more consistency—of major importance for such a feature-rich, complex application.

"Photoshop CS6 will be a milestone release that pushes the boundaries of imaging innovation with incredible speed and performance," said Winston Hendrickson, vice president of products for Adobe Creative Media Solutions. "We couldn't wait to share this beta of Photoshop CS6 with our customers and are looking forward to hearing from them and seeing the ways they are incorporating the beta into their daily creative workflows."

Photographers will appreciate the new Camera Raw sub-application, which allows better control over corrections for lighting, geometry, and even can automatically correct photos based on lens profiles for nearly every camera model. A new blur gallery produces the popular "bokeh" and "tilt-shift" effects, and CS6 offers a new, more-useful cropping tool.

Availability and Pricing
The Photoshop CS6 beta is a free download from the Adobe Labs website. Adobe is eager for feedback from beta testers, and is offering many options to so do. Users can post in an Adobe forum; on; on Facebook; on YouTube; or via Twitter. The new software is available for Windows starting with XP SP3 and up to Windows 7; the Mac version requires an Intel multicore CPU. On both platforms, it can run at 64 bits.

The final release is expected in the first half of 2012, so we won't have to wait long before it's fully available. Photoshop CS6 continues to be one of the largest software investments you can make, at $699 for the standard version and $999 for Extended, which adds 3D editing capabilities. Adobe also now offers a subscription model for either individual programs or the whole Creative Suite. And a new Adobe option, Creative Cloud, will give you the Extended version along with the rest of the Creative Suite, starting at $49 a month, depending on which apps you need included.