Adobe makes users pay to fix Photoshop flaw

Adobe makes users pay to fix Photoshop flaw

Summary: Photoshop for Creative Suite 5 has a serious security flaw that Adobe is not going to patch, forcing security-conscious users to potentially pay hundreds of pounds to upgrade to Photoshop CS6

TOPICS: Security

Adobe has identified a critical security hole in Photoshop Creative Suite 5, but has said customers must pay to upgrade to the Creative Suite 6 version to be secure.

The design flaw could allow hackers to remotely take control of systems running the photo-editing software, Adobe warned in a security bulletin on Thursday. Photoshop CS5 for Windows and Mac, plus earlier versions, can be compromised using a malicious .TIF file, it said.

"Adobe has released Adobe Photoshop CS6 (paid upgrade), which addresses these vulnerabilities. For users who cannot upgrade to Adobe Photoshop CS6, Adobe recommends users follow security best practices and exercise caution when opening files from unknown or untrusted sources," the software maker said.

Businesses with standalone Photoshop in CS5, CS4 or CS3 versions must pay £153 plus VAT to upgrade to the patched CS6 as a download, while the boxed upgrade costs £159 plus VAT. Moving from earlier Photoshop Extended software to the CS6 edition costs £299 and £309 respectively. People who want to move from earlier CS packages of applications to CS6 bundles will pay more, starting with Design Standard at £212 for a download upgrade from CS5.5.

The bulletin coincides with the release on Friday of Adobe Creative Cloud, a subscription service that promises "ongoing innovation that provides members with the most up-to-date products and services", according to the company.

For users who cannot upgrade to Adobe Photoshop CS6, Adobe recommends users follow security best practices and exercise caution when opening files from unknown or untrusted sources.

– Adobe

The new service offers Master Collection CS6 for rent on a monthly basis, with fees paid either monthly or annually, and with discounts available for existing customers. On a one-year contract, it costs £22.23 for people with CS3 or later, or £39.70 for new customers. Those who pay per month are charged £59.56.

Photoshop CS6, unveiled in April, went on sale on 7 May. Photoshop CS5, which launched in April 2010, is still on sale on Amazon unpatched at around £590.

In January, Adobe backpedalled on an earlier plan to introduce a policy to force people using CS4 applications to pay twice to upgrade to CS6, after customers complained.

Adobe did not respond to a request for comment at the time of writing.

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Topic: Security

Tom Espiner

About Tom Espiner

Tom is a technology reporter for He covers the security beat, writing about everything from hacking and cybercrime to threats and mitigation. He also focuses on open source and emerging technologies, all the while trying to cut through greenwash.

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  • I'm unlikely to load any tiffs from elsewhere, but even so. It's a good thing Adobe don't operating systems, or virus checkers ('upgrade to Windows 888 if you want our security flaws fixed", "buy our new virus checker if you want that threat detected")!
  • The GNU Image Manipulation Program (G.I.M.P) - Is completely free and open source, meaning it's code is tested; reviewed and contributed to; by millions of people worldwide, is a very competent and decent alternative to Photoshop. Why people insist on paying money to a company that clearly does not support it's user base is beyond me. It is also available on Windows, Linux and Mac!
  • @budak How can you compare Photoshop and GIMP. Its no more of an alternative to Photoshop than is Paint. There is a reason it is used by anyone with any soft of design skill....because it is totally unmatched by any other product.
  • That depends on what you want to do. I find GIMP very useful and easy to use. No doubt I could do more with Photoshop, but GIMP is a reasonably comprehensive package and can't really be lumped in with Paint.
    David Meyer
  • I have used the GIMP, and it's pretty good, even if it wasn't free. However, personally I find it clunky compared to PS, which is why I use CS5. Adobe's attitude still sucks though!
  • I see Adobe has changed tack, and will be putting out a patch.