Microsoft Issues Emergency Adobe Flash Update Following Unprecedented Patch Tuesday Delay

For over 13 years, Microsoft has been issuing monthly security updates for Windows on what is known as Patch Tuesday, typically the second Tuesday of every month. This month's update would have fell on Valentine's Day, except that Microsoft did something highly unusual—it delayed the Patch Tuesday rollout following the discovery of a "last minute issue that could impact some customers." Now a week later, Microsoft has issued an emergency patch for a flaw in Adobe Flash Player.

The out-of-band release pertains to a critical vulnerability in Adobe Flash Player that could allow an attacker to execute malicious code remotely. It affects Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows RT 8.1, Windows 10, and Windows Server 2016. A system reboot is required after applying the patch, so keep that in mind when preparing for the update.

Microsoft Wall

Here is an email that Microsoft sent out regarding the out-of-band release(s).
Microsoft is planning to release security updates for Adobe Flash Player. These updates will be offered to the following operating systems: Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows RT 8.1, Windows 10, and Windows Server 2016 ...

No other security updates are scheduled for release until the next scheduled monthly update release on March 14, 2017.
The good news here is that Adobe Flasher Player usage has waned in recent years. For anyone who does not use Flash, these updates are of little concern. Same goes for anyone who limits Flash use to Chrome, Firefox, or some other third-party browser. The only ones who are really affected here are Edge and Internet Explorer users.

As to what exactly these updates fix, Microsoft did not go into detail. All it said in a separate announcement is that "Today, we released an Adobe Flash Player security update to provide additional protections against malicious attackers. As a best practice, we encourage customers to turn on automatic updates."

There is not much to digest there, other than Adobe Flash Player continues to be a popular target.