Microsoft, not Adobe, is responsible for patching Flash Player in Windows 8 because the company took a page from Google's playbook and integrated the popular media software with Internet Explorer 10 (IE10), the new operating system's browser. Last month, Adobe issued two updates for Flash Player that patched eight vulnerabilities, some of which were ranked as "1" by the company, its highest threat warning. One of the vulnerabilities, tagged as CVE-2012-1535, was patched Aug. 14, but had been exploited for an indeterminate time before that.
In fact, CVE-2012-1535 was one of four "zero-days," or unpatched vulnerabilities, exploited in a 16-week stretch by an elite hacker gang revealed by Symantec researchers on Friday. Microsoft has not updated the Flash in IE10 within Windows 8 to accommodate those two sets of patches, Adobe confirmed Friday. "Flash Player 11.3.372.94 does not incorporate the fixes released in APSB12-18 and APSB12-19," said Wiebke Lips, a spokeswoman for Adobe, referring to the Aug. 14 and Aug. 21 Flash updates.
Windows 8 RTM's IE10 identifies the integrated Flash Player as version 11.3.372.94, a more recent build than the one in Windows 8 Release Preview, but older than the most-up-to-date version for Windows, 11.4.402.265, which Adobe delivered on Aug. 21.
Adobe actually told some users about Windows 8's Flash situation two weeks ago. On an Adobe support forum, a company representative announced on Aug. 23 that there would be no Flash update for Windows 8 and IE10 until late October. "Since Windows 8 has not yet been released for general availability, the update channel is not active," said Chris Campbell, identified as an Adobe employee. "Once this goes live, you'll start getting updates to Flash Player."
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