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Why does Microsoft Security Essentials tell me that Adobe Flash is unsafe?

Posted on 2011-10-26
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While trying to download Adobe Flash 11.0.1.152
Security Essentials keeps saying that the download-run file is reported as unsafe.

Why?
(Adobe is not some generic program that is not known to Windows)

I have Vista.
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Question by:nickg5
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by:joelsplace
joelsplace earned 740 total points
ID: 37032876
Are you sure you aren't being redirected to some bogus download that is unsafe?  Try downloading from www.filehippo.com.  I use them all the time and they are safe.
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by:nickg5
ID: 37032962
filehippo, sounds fishy.

I am doing the download from Adobe dot com.
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by:joelsplace
ID: 37033013
It does but I've used it for years and never been an issue.  They have a great small update checker also.
Have you tried the install verifier on Adobe's site?  If so does it recognize the newer version?  I've installed that version of flash on many PCs with MSE and they ran fine.  I did download mine from filehippo but obviously Adobe's site should be fine.  I haven't tried Adobe's online installer.
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by:joelsplace
joelsplace earned 740 total points
ID: 37033021
Make sure MSE program and definition updates are current.  I have seen malware that looked exactly like MSE's interface except for an option to purchase.
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by:nickg5
ID: 37033027
I stopped the download because I was curious, why Windows would recognize and "report" the .exe file to be unsafe.
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by:joelsplace
ID: 37033067
Was it Windows, MSE or IE that is reporting it as unsafe?
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by:nickg5
ID: 37033125
It ask me, if I want to run, or save the file. Then it says it could harm my computer. I know it is safe, so I click on "run."

Then I see: "running security check"
Then: "install_flashplayer11x32ax_gtbd_aih.exe was "reported" as "unsafe."
Then the choices are:
1. close (X)
2. view downloads
3. delete

Therer are no options like:
1. proceed with caution
2. or go ahead and do it, but do not contact us (Microsoft) if it harms your computer.

So, it appears to recognize it as unsafe, which is different than saying it might be unsafe.
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by:nickg5
ID: 37033139
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by:joelsplace
joelsplace earned 740 total points
ID: 37033188
install_flashplayer11x32ax_gtbd_aih.exe
That does not sound right.
Have you tried downloading and scanning the file with MSE instead of running it?
The file should be called install_flash_player_ax_32bit.exe
I just tried your link and that is the correct file.  It's just some kind of web installer instead of the actual install file.  It runs fine on my box with NOD32 A/V.
Use this page to get the real installer instead of the web thing.
http://www.adobe.com/support/flashplayer/downloads.html#fp11
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by:joelsplace
ID: 37033203
Sorry that link doesn't seem to have the normal files any more.  Filehippo is good go there.
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by:nickg5
ID: 37033228
When I get the message "running a security scan" I thought that was MSE doing a scan. MSE is real time protection.
I'm getting the same unsafe message for Adobe Acrobat.

For Acrobat the file is install_reader10_en_air+gtbd+aih.exe

Many times I go to downloads dot com.

This time I went to Adobe because Adobe products were interferring display ads on many web pages. So, I removed Air, Acrobat, and Flash and was going back to get the newer versions (versus the older versions I had, that had accumuated alot of updates along the way)
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by:nickg5
ID: 37033249
I do have the option to "save" the file, but Adobe said click on "run"
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by:nickg5
ID: 37033260
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by:nickg5
ID: 37033268
That link above does not take you to where I got it, which was the installer page.
You'd have to click on "download" to see the next page.

I was opting out of Google Tool bar, totally undesired.
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by:joelsplace
ID: 37033280
That's right.  It shouldn't matter.
download.com?  That's CNET's site correct?  I quit using them long ago because of all the ads and then recently they started wrapping the installers in malware.  I heard they quit doing that though.  Filehippo has none of that garbage and they keep a whole list of previous versions in case you ever need one.
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by:nickg5
ID: 37033315
ok, back to the question, why is MSE doing more than warning that the download from Adobe might be unsafe?
It is actually saying it is unsafe as reported by MSE.
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by:joelsplace
ID: 37033331
That's what you call a false positive or it could be the opinion of whoever handles that stuff.  Flash is the way a lot or even most malware gets installed on PCs.
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by:nickg5
ID: 37033392
yes, CNET, formerly www dot downloads dot com
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by:joelsplace
ID: 37033505
I just booted up my laptop that is running MSE and went to Adobe's site and ran the installer you are having issues with.  It worked perfect on mine.  No warnings.
Are you 100% sure that your version of MSE is up to date and is real and not malware?
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by:nickg5
ID: 37033549
Here is my version:
Security Essentials 2.1.1116.0
Anti-malware Client 3.0.8402.0
Engine 1.1.7801.0
Anti-virus 1.115.598.0
Anti-spyware 1.1115.598.0
Network Inspection 2.0.77707.0
copyright 2010.
Last scan was Oct. 22nd.
I've accepted all Windows updates.
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by:joelsplace
ID: 37033587
Your av and antispyware definitions are older than mine.  Try updating.
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by:nickg5
ID: 37034005
I went to the update screen and it says my definitions were updated today at 9:24am.

What about Adobe downloads, from reliable sources, causes MSE to reject the actions?
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by:joelsplace
ID: 37034997
I guess I can't help you.  I've already answered that question and told you your definitions are out of date.  Why don't you want to try my suggestions?
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by:nickg5
ID: 37035026
As mentioned above my definitions were updated as of today at 9:24am.
I just did another update, and it is dated today, 7:49pm.
I then went to Adobe dot com and tried to download Reader and the installer file is reported by MSE, as unsafe, and the download-run-save can not proceed.

My updates are now 3 minutes old.
I can not be more updated with MSE definitions.
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by:joelsplace
ID: 37035085
Ok that's better.  Try clearing your temp files.  You already uninstalled the old Flash player correct?
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by:nickg5
ID: 37035462
I removed all Adobe products yesterday because I was getting display ads flashing on the left side of many webpages, for 1/2 second, before they went where they always are, on the right side. Closed question on that from yesterday. Even Microsoft support has not given me the answer per their support forum.From that thread, it may be that my version of Flash and all the updates over the last 18 months was corrupted, etc.

------------------------------------------
I'll clear temp. files and try Adobe dot com download again.

I got Acrobat from another website and MSE let it go by, no problems. It did a security scan, but nothing more. The download and installation proceeded as expected.
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by:nickg5
ID: 37035505
I just deleted all temp. files and went to hippo, CNET, and Adobe dot com and MSE won't allow Adobe Flash to be installed.
It mentions some stupid certificate. Right click lets me say, do it any way Mr. Gates, and it still blocks it.

I also tried to download it from Firefox. It says I need a plug-in to view a sports video. I got it downloaded, Flash that is, but when I try to open it, it fails.

I have got Acrobat and now need Flash.
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by:nickg5
ID: 37035524
Good grief. I just disabled MSE and still the installer for Adobe Flash is being blocked. No, I have not installed a firewall, and I had an older, but updated version of Flash yesterday and removed it due to issues.

Updated, means when updates were offered upon boot-up over the many months, I installed them.

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by:nickg5
ID: 37035553
CNET and FileHippo and Adobe dot com, all get the same result.
And this is with MSE turned OFF.


Untitled44.jpg
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by:Donald Stewart
ID: 37035555
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by:nickg5
ID: 37035579
I do not use Bing.
I had Flash since June 2010.
No issues until last week. Ads started to flash-blink on the left side of the page. It stopped when I removed all Adobe products. No explanation as there is a whole thread about the display ads (search my user name)
They are where they always have been, on the right side of various pages, like Yahoo, Hotmail, etc. but they do not blink on the left side, before going to the right side where they are destined.

The current issue is IE won't let me download Flash from trusted sites.
MSE disabling has not helped.
I have been trying to download Flash without the Google tool bar. Maybe that is the reason, I am being forced to accept the tool bar?
There are links on filehippo that lead to Adobe dot com.
CNET leads there too. Windows or Windows firewall or Windows disabled MSE, or some other Microsoft program is preventing the download (the installer file).
Adobe Flash was installed on this same computer June 2010. It was removed yesterday to stop a problem. Now I need the Flash player back.
MSE allowed me to get Acrobat from file hippo but Flash is being blocked.
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by:nickg5
ID: 37035587
Searching for Flash Player on Bing and Yahoo can lead to rogue pages distributing a hard-to-remove rootkit, according to security researchers from antivirus vendor GFI Software.

...........I search for Flash using Google, or go directly to filehippo dot com, CNET dot com, or Adobe dot com and the installer file is being blocked.
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by:nickg5
ID: 37035596
His advice for users is to download programs from their respective developer's website by typing the URL directly rather than searching for it online.

...........that does not work either.

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by:nickg5
ID: 37035651
Plenty of Adobe files hidden in my C:\ > user folder > AppData folder.
Maybe I need to manually remove all those files since I un-installed all Adobe from my pc yesterday?
Today I downloaded Acrobat from filehippo, since MSE would not allow it, from CNET or Adobe dot com.
Now, with or without MSE turned on, Flash is being blocked from all three of the above sites.

Maybe Microsoft should just buy Adobe, Google, Oracle to get Java, Symantec, and Yahoo, so they all work with each other.
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by:Donald Stewart
Donald Stewart earned 1260 total points
ID: 37035729
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by:nickg5
ID: 37035814
dstewartjr:
I used this link from that thread:
Workaround:
Download the player directly from the link
http://fpdownload.adobe.com/get/flashplayer/current/install_flash_player_ax.exe

Error: Your administrator is set to block this program.

Right click and "install any way" also fails.

This was attemped with MSE turned on, and all those other Adobe files in the hidden folder > AppData. Some of those files could be from the Flash Player that was installed on my system since June 2010 and un-installed yesterday. Not sure.

Efforts to download using Firefox fails too.
The site city-data dot com required a plug-in. It said Adobe Flash Player 10.3.183.7.
Installation fails on Firefox.
There is a "install manually" button.
That takes me to Adobe dot com.
Right click to try to open then this message:
Publisher has blocked running this software on your computer.
There is a link on "how to unblock."
This is some Windows instructions and I do not clearly undersatand what it says. There is no link to "how to unblock."
I'd have to go back and try again, and post a screen shot of the help section.
As with many Microsoft help sections, they are no help.
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by:
Donald Stewart earned 1260 total points
ID: 37035833
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by:nickg5
ID: 37035884
No I have not.
I did not know it existed. Good information.
I assume I can disable, download program, and re-enable.
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by:Donald Stewart
ID: 37035892
yes, barring that is in fact causing your issue
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by:nickg5
ID: 37040458
dstewartjr:
I disabled AUC.
Reboot, tried the download using the link from the other thread.
It would not install. I then turned MSE off.
Still no installation.
That link said the version of Adobe Flash was not the current version, so it directed me to Adobe dot com.
Still the download failed.
I then went to filehippo dot com and it failed again.
I was able to right click on the failure and choose: install any way.
I can not tell what version I have other than Flash 11.
I'll turn on MSE and re-enable AUC.
Hopefully that is the fix. Thanks.
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by:nickg5
ID: 37040466
Adobe Flash Player 11.0.1.152 appears to be what I have.
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by:Donald Stewart
ID: 37040977
Found Adobe link for current adobe flash(11) download here  


http://fpdownload.macromedia.com/get/flashplayer/current/licensing/win/install_flash_player_11_active_x_32bit.exe


11.0.1.152 is the latest
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by:nickg5
ID: 37041099
Well with Flash my problem is back again.

Here are the details.
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/Internet_Email/Email/Email_Clients/Q_27405398.html

Test it yourself. If you have IE 9.0 and Adobe Flash, go to Yahoo dot com, left side click on Finance and enter the stock symbol for IBM.
Change the symbol to AAPL, or AMD, or GE, or just reload the page. The ads on the right side will change.

On my system, starting last week, the display ads that are on the right side of the page, flicker-blink-flash for less than one second on the left side of the webpage. Before they go to the right side. It happens on Yahoo sites, Hotmail, and others.

It does not happen when using Firefox.

One EE member said the only fix was the stop using the internet.(?)
There seems to be something about the ads, or Flash, or IE, that is causing this.
I'll have to ask a new question.
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by:nickg5
ID: 37050618
Without taking any action or changing any settings on MSE, etc. I was able to get Acrobat from filehippo dot com but not CNET or Adobe.com.

I could not get Flash from any of those sites.

The solution was as dstewartjr suggested, which was UAC.

 
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by:nickg5
ID: 37050623
As mentioned above, getting the updated "definitions" for MSE did not work.

filehippo was part of the solution.
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by:nickg5
ID: 37050632
thanks

UAC and filehippo
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by:younghv
ID: 37050672
The only proper place to download Adobe products is from www.adobe.com
Flash is: http://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/?promoid=BUIGP

Getting files from third-party sites ALWAYS carries the possibility of modified/infected files.

In my experience, you do not have to disable UAC to install Flash or anything else.
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by:nickg5
ID: 37050686
I tried multiple times to download Adobe Flash from CNET and Adobe dot com.
Windows security scan stopped the installer every time.
Turning off UAC got Flash installed.
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by:younghv
ID: 37050702
My point is that you (or any future reader) needs to look elsewhere for the 'solution' and not a 'work around'.

Disabling your protection and/or downloading from sharing sites is not always in your best interest.

My intention was only to clarify that - since the question had already been closed when I posted.
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by:nickg5
ID: 37050709
thanks for the comment.

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by:Merete
ID: 37051328
nickg5 if I may add as another solution
 you could enable flash to automatically let you know there is an update available then you woudl get them from the flash site only.
whenever you visit like youtube or yahoo any site that has flash or flash adds
r/click the flash add go to settings> then global settings>advanced and tick to check for updates automatically
Regards Merete
global-settings.jpg
check-for-updates.jpg
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by:BillDL
ID: 37051410
I know this question has been "answered", but like youngv I sat here shaking my head in disbelief at some of the advice given.  When an update doesn't work from the official site, in my opinion it is very poor advice to suggest going to other file download sites simply on the basis that "it's always worked for me".

Nick, you should have followed your instinct when this was suggested and you at first said "Sounds fishy ... I am doing the download from Adobe dot com".  Similarly, when mention was made of the file:
"install_flashplayer11x32ax_gtbd_aih.exe"
a quick look at the file name in the knowledge that the flash update from the Adobe site offers a tick-box for the Google Toolbar should have indicated this:

11 = version 11
x32 = for 32-bit Windows
ax = ActiveX Control
gtbd = Google Toolbar Declined
gtba = Google Toolbar Accepted
(mss = McAfee Security Scan if offered)

aih = Don't know what the acronym actually spells out, but it is the Adobe automated (scripted) web install method of checking whether you have the Adobe Download Manager (getPlus by Nosso) installed and able to progress the setup, and which shows you a completion notice and redirects to allow downloads of Reader, Shockwave, and Air, and which removes leftover setup files.

A quick check at http://get.adobe.com/flashplayer using the "Save" rather than "Run" button would have shown the names of the different filenames downloaded by messing with the different browser or OS options.

Flash Player installers from 3rd party sites don't offer additional "promos" (although they may pack them), so to say that "The file should be called install_flash_player_ax_32bit.exe" was short sighted and probably led the question off on a tangent of suspicion.

In future if you have problems with something similar, stick with the official site and try to troubleshoot from there rather than going all over the place to other sites looking for workarounds.  To troubleshoot, simply look for the "help" or "support" options on the official website.  In the case of Flash Player a couple of clicks through Help > Flash Player > "Installation Problems | Windows" leads to a very comprehensive page full of good screenshots that clearly mentions the File Download Security Warning, the Internet Explorer Security Warning, and the User Access Control (UAC) and loads of other things to check and walk through:
http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/191/tn_19166.html

I am pretty confident that you would have been able to get a solution by working your way through that page.

Notably none of the links will direct you off to FileHippo, CNet, or any other 3rd-party site.

You mentioned something in one of your earlier comments Nick:
"The site city-data dot com required a plug-in. It said Adobe Flash Player 10.3.183.7".

DON'T always believe what a site tells you.  Take note of what it tells you and then make sure of some things, but I would generally advise you NOT to allow a site to redirect you off somewhere to download an ActiveX Plugin unless the link is checkable and can be verified that it is directing you to the official site.

In your case with Firefox you should fistly checked whether the Flash Player ActiveX Control was enabled and what version was installed:
Tools menu > Add-Ons > Plugins.
 Click the drop-down and choose "Check for Updates"On completion you should see the text notifications as shown:
 .
The most up to date version that will safely install in Firefox from the Adobe "get" page and also updating within the Plugins Manager page of Firefox is 10.3.181.26.  You can click on the "check to see if your plugins are up to date" text link as shown in the first screenshot to go here:
https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/plugincheck/?
It will show you which version have an update waiting, BUT it should also show you which of those updates are UNSAFE or cause incompatibility issues as shown:
 Bright red with warning, but you can still install if you wanted to risk it.
Just for your information, web developers usually add the minimum version themselves in the code and have a script interrogate your system to see if your version is equal to or more recent.  Where one web developer might deem version 10.3.183.7 to be a "minimum requirement" the rest of us (and Firefox) may disagree.

Anyway, enough said, but I felt it had to be said in view of the directions this question went.
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by:BillDL
ID: 37051417
And another piece of really good advice there by Merete.
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by:nickg5
ID: 37051426
ok, thanks.

I have encountered a plugin requirement when using Firefox and city data dot com. I download the plugin but it fails, and is blocked by Windows (or MSE or UAC or Bill Gates or whoever). I'll check it later to see if it got installed.

(I've used downloads dot com many times in the past, that is CNET)

If I can not get that Firefox-Flash-plugin, I'll ask a new question.
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by:younghv
ID: 37051443
BillDL hits another home run (a sports analogy from the colonies).
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by:BillDL
ID: 37051559
Yeah, former colonies, not that  was ever much into cricket.  It's like reading HijackThis logs in terms of interest and activity ;-)
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