Amidst confirmed reports that malicious hackers are starting to use fake Flash Player downloads as social engineering lures for malware, Adobe has issued a call-to-arms for users to validate installers before downloading software updates.
The company's notice comes on the heels of malware attacks on Facebook, MySpace and Twitter that attempt to trick Windows users into installing a Flash Player update that turns out to be a malicious executable.
Some golden advice from Adobe's advisory:
First off, do not download Flash Player from a site other than adobe.com -- you can find the link for downloading Flash Player here. This goes for any piece of software (Reader, Windows Media Player, QuickTime, etc.) – if you get a notice to update, it's not a bad idea to go directly to the site of the software vendor and download the update directly from the source. If the download is from an unfamiliar URL or an IP address, you should be suspicious.
Second, all Adobe software for Windows is signed with a digital certificate that is validated by Windows when you install our software. The Publisher will always be 'Adobe Systems, Incorporated', and you can verify this when you double-click the installer, or by right-clicking on the installer, selecting 'Properties', and going to the 'Digital Signatures' tab.
For Flash Player in particular, computer users can use this page to verify what version of Flash Player is installed, and what the current version of Flash Player is for your operating system. The most recent version of Flash Player version is 18.104.22.168.
Adobe Flash is arguably the most widely deployed software in the world.