Four Applications You Should Blacklist Today

By Joseph Carson Head of Global Alliances, Thycotic

This year has been a busy one for cyber-criminals. Reports indicate there have been over 500 data breaches and more than 500 million records exposed in 2016 so far. This includes the disclosure of 427 million MySpace records, 68 million Dropbox User records and 117 million user emails and password details at LinkedIn. The healthcare, retail, technology, financial and governmental sectors head the list of business areas that were the most targeted throughout the year.

A major concern is the increasing complexity of patching systems and applications. Each year many Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVEs) are posted on the National Vulnerability Database, which helps alert companies who are using these applications and inform them on the mitigation controls to reduce the risks of using such applications. However, some applications pose a much greater risk and unless those systems running these applications are locked down significantly the only alternative options are to blacklist them or remove them completely. Let’s take a look at some of those applications.

Apple QuickTime is a multimedia framework that was used for handling various digital video formats and was available on multiple platforms for Mac OS and Windows. The Windows version was also bundled in some versions of iTunes and also many applications that required QuickTime to play digital content, providing download links to make it easy for someone to quickly install.

This year Apple decided to discontinue support for QuickTime on Windows, leaving several severe and dangerous security vulnerabilities that a hacker could exploit to take FULL control of your computer. QuickTime is no longer being updated and these security flaws or any newly discovered vulnerabilities will unlikely be fixed. This truly means that QuickTime for Windows is dead and should no longer be used.

Adobe Flash Player formally known as “Macromedia Flash” or “Shockwave” is a multimedia application that helps enrich the experience when browsing the internet and allows streaming of video and audio. It is also used in some desktop applications, mobile applications and games.

However, for many years Flash has had a very poor record for security and vulnerabilities are everywhere with over 400 CVE’s being published. Haackers and cyber-criminals have been exploiting it for many years allowing them to listen to your conversations and use your web camera to watch you in your office or home. Many web browsers have removed support for Flash and stop it from running however many companies and consumers are still using older web browsers which allow Flash to run.

It is highly recommended to use the latest versions of web browsers and to blacklist Adobe Flash or remove it from your system. 

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