Krebs on Security, Brian Krebs
March 11, 2014
Adobe and Microsoft today each released software updates to fix serious security flaws in their products. Adobe pushed an update that plugs a pair of holes in its Flash Player software. Microsoft issued five updates, including one that addresses a zero-day vulnerability inInternet Explorer that attackers have been exploiting of late.
Microsoft’s five bulletins address 23 distinct security weaknesses in Microsoft Windows, Internet Explorer and Silverlight. The Internet Explorer patch is rated critical for virtually all supported versions of IE, and plugs at least 18 security holes, including a severe weakness in IE 9 and 10 that is already being exploited in targeted attacks.
Microsoft notes that the exploits targeting the IE bug seen so far appear to perform a check for the presence of Microsoft’s Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET); according to Microsoft, the exploits fail to proceed if EMET is detected. I’ve recommended EMET on several occasions, and would encourage any Windows users who haven’t yet deployed this tool to spend a few minutes reading this post and consider taking advantage of it to further harden their systems. The latest version — 4.1 — is available at this link and requires Microsoft’s .NET Framework 4 platform. For those of you who don’t mind beta-testing software, Microsoft has released a preview version of the next generation of EMET — EMET 5.0 Technical Preview.
With the meteoric rise of mobile devices and tablets, it’s no surprise that mobile is a way of life and is here to
stay. In 2012, there were 121 million smartphone users and 94 million tablet users in the United States alone,
representing a 31% and 180% increase over 2011, respectively.
Mobile devices have changed the way consumers interact with businesses, and today’s digital marketers must understand how consumers use
different devices to be able to build and optimize mobile marketing strategies that deliver the right mobile
experience to each mobile user. In addition, 2013 marked a significant shift in how mobile users are accessing websites. According to the Adobe
Digital Index,global websites are now getting more traffic from tablets than smartphones, with 8% and 7% of
monthly page views respectively. Given that tablet visitors spend more per online purchase with U.S. retailers
than visitors using smartphones, tablet traffic is proving to be more valuable in terms of e-commerce and
engagement and represents significant implications for the development and optimization of mobile strategies.
Results from the Adobe 2013 Mobile Consumer Survey show that consumers are using their smartphones and
tablet devices to connect with brands in a variety of ways, and they are increasingly moving back and forth
between different devices and form factors.
See the results
According to an industry analysis by Adobe Digital Index, mobile devices have changed the way consumers interact with businesses, making an understanding of the trends, strengths, and weaknesses of both tablets and smartphones important in serving mobile customers. Another perspective in the ongoing and growing interest in mobile marketing and advertising. In just three years, says the report, tablets have overtaken smartphones in the amount of traffic they drive.
Tablet versus smartphone growth
• Globally, websites are getting more traffic from tablets than smartphones
• Internet users view 70% more pages per visit when browsing on a tablet vs. a smartphone
• While tablet and smartphone consumers are both mobile users tablet users actually behave more like PC users in the way they browse and engage
Apple is rumored to be announcing the fifth generation of its iPad on June 18. Mobile devices account for an increasingly larger share of most publishers’ web traffic – including a whopping 65% for BuzzFeed. Publishers are delivering 1.7 million digital editions a week built with Adobe’s Digital Publishing Suite – a sixfold increase over the past two years.
It may be time to take this whole mobile thing a bit more seriously.
The elements required to justify greater investment in mobile development are falling into place. More people are reading digital magazines; Adobe says per-publication readership across its DPS-based publications has increased by an average of 80% over the past six months. More devices are coming to market, with models such as the iPad mini and Kindle HD extending into the mass market.
“People are more comfortable reading magazine content on tablets,” Lynly Schambers-Lenox, Adobe’s group product marketing manager for digital publishing, said in a recent interview. “That’s not surprising, and we expect it to continue.”
Back in the day, there was a big dispute between Apple and Adobe about bundling Flash with iOS. Apple believed that Adobe’s Flash was nothing but faulty software. The company was ultimately able to convince developers that the emerging HTML5 technology supported by iOS was as capable as Flash, but that it didn’t have the flaws that Flash did, making it the obvious top choice.
Now, that very same technology that Apple condemned seems to be replacing its App Store. HTML5-based mobile web applications have been catching on with developers fast, as their advantages are clearly outweighing the benefits of the native app. The move toward development with emerging markup language has accelerated so fast that it has been predicted to overrun the native app within two years. Development on HTML5 is very popular, but it does have its challenges. Perhaps its biggest challenge is to deliver, and eventually exceed, the user experience of heavily animated or specialized native apps.
Adobe has developed a method through HTML5 that allows brands to build advertising content that Google can index in search results. The Edge tools, an alternative to Flash, allows companies to build animation into their Web site or online ads. Mark Anders, Adobe Fellow, calls the content “a presentation on the Web site or something that could resemble an ad” built in Edge as a special version of HTML5 file. The format enables Google’s and Bing’s bots to recognize the file as text and serve up the content in search results.