Adobe is in big trouble. The make of the popular Flash software is facing a hack that could send consumers’ computers crashing. According to various media reports, “security researchers” have discovered a “bug” that could allow hackers to take over and crash users’ machines.
Adobe admitted the “critical vulnerability” and strongly suggested users take action “immediately” to fix any potential problems. Step one – upgrade your Flash Player immediately.
The nature of the hack is particularly troubling. Ransomware is the name given to invasive programs that attack and shut down a computer then demand cash for users to regain access to their machines. According to Adobe, the “flaw” impacts Windows machines running version 126.96.36.1996 or earlier.
More than a billion users have Flash Player installed on their systems. And, while this is the first time Adobe has been targeted with this sort of attack, the company responded like pros.
First, they created a fix as they communicated the problem. Having a pre-emptive solution before people even know about the problem is a great way to instill confidence. When you let people know there’s a problem while you give them a fix, that’s a great way to build trust when you may otherwise instill panic.
Consider: if Adobe had reported the issue or, worse, if users had been attacked and reported it through social media, the brand may have suffered a devastating public relations crisis from which there may be no coming back.
Instead, the company caught it and responded immediately. They created a fix and told their users in time for them to take preventative measures and avoid any issues. This is a huge win for the company. Everyone knows hackers are out there and bad guys want access to their computers. They may not be happy to have to upgrade, but they will be grateful to the company for looking out for them … and much happier than they would be if they were the victim of an attack that happened because they just didn’t know it was coming.