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

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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Topics: Security

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Tom is a technology reporter for ZDNet.com, writing about all manner of security and open-source issues.Tom had various jobs after leaving university, including working for a company that hired out computers as props for films and television, and a role turning the entire back catalogue of a publisher into e-books.Tom eventually found tha... Full Bio

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