During the first six months of this year, Adobe’s Flash platform has experienced eight serious exploits. The trend continued this week, as Yahoo confirmed hackers had used an existing Flash vulnerability to infect its users through advertising on its sites. The attack re-directed some users to malicious websites and infected others with ransomware, a kind of computer virus that takes control of the user’s machine and demands that money is paid to hackers to make it accessible again. 

As firefighters in California are battling wildfires across the state, hobbyist drone operators have impeded their efforts by cluttering airspace. CNN reports that last Friday, firefighting helicopters with water buckets were delayed for 20 minutes by drone operators attempting to capture video footage of a wildfire that spread onto a Los Angeles freeway.

Both Costco and Walmart Canada have taken their online photo centers offline this week to investigate a possible security breach. Currently Walmart Canada’s photo printing website displays the following error page:


This week Microsoft stopped providing antimalware signatures for Microsoft Security Essentials running on Windows XP. Officially, support for Windows XP stopped in April 2014 but Microsoft continued to provide updated antivirus signatures to its security software if it was already installed on the user’s system. This week marks the end of all security updates for Windows XP from Microsoft. 

As of July 1st, both Minnesota and California passed laws requiring manufacturers to install an anti-theft feature known as a ‘kill switch’ on all new smartphones. A kill switch allows the owner of a stolen phone to remotely delete all the data on the device or simply lock the phone, rendering the device useless to the thief and lowering its resale value – in slang terms, to ‘brick’ the phone.