Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Critical Security Updates Available for RealPlayer

RealNetworks has shipped a new version of its RealPlayer software to plug at least four serious security holes in the program. Updates are available for RealPlayer versions 10, 10.5 and 11 for Linux, Mac and Windows systems.

Windows versions of RealPlayer are affected by all four vulnerabilities (two of the flaws are once again ActiveX related), while the Linux and Mac versions are exposed to just one of the holes. Regardless, the company is urging all users, regardless of platform, to upgrade their software.

To see which version of RealPlayer you're using, select "Help," then "About in the program's menu. Windows users can use the "Check for updates" option. Linux and Mac updates are available here.

Regular readers of this blog know that I am not a huge fan of RealPlayer. But there are alternatives. If you just need to hear streaming Real audio, the free and excellent VLC Media Player can take care of that. For Windows users looking for a free alternative to render Real video content, a package called "Real Alternative" should do the trick.

By Brian Krebs  |  July 28, 2008; 4:30 PM ET
Categories:  From the Bunker , Latest Warnings , New Patches , Safety Tips  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Gmail Gains Two New Security Features
Next: Three Quarters of Malicious Web Sites Are Hacked


I'm a Real Player user. How do I update? I have Windows 3.1 and Netscape 2.0?


Posted by: JkR | July 28, 2008 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Real Alternative is just a repackaged version of the actual RealPlayer DLLs with a different GUI. So any vuls that affect RealPlayer (aside from the GUI) would likely also affect Real Alternative. And it doesn't have any channels through which to get updates. That, plus Real Alternative is essentially illegal software.

Do you really want to be promoting this software?

Posted by: WD | July 28, 2008 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Wait, wait, wait. Isn't RealPlayer just a mishmash of spyware? Isn't a "security update" to Real Player either an oxymoron, or a new backdoor into your computer?

Posted by: Dana | July 28, 2008 9:11 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the pointer to VLC. I use this on Linux for DVD viewing but I wasn't aware it also does Real Audio. Since it's open source it should generally get fixed fairly quickly if there are security holes.

Posted by: Richard | July 29, 2008 5:49 AM | Report abuse

I agree that it's much better to simply avoid Realplayer altogether. My girlfriend installed it on her computer and it was a real hog that turned into a bear when I tried to uninstall it. It's bad ware from bad company.

Posted by: Robert | July 29, 2008 5:49 AM | Report abuse

I have used Real Player off and on.. It has always proven to be a pain... I have finally removed it totally (by doing a fresh windoze install)... If I find a website that insists I have to have Real to view it's content, I just shrug and move on...

Dr. O

Posted by: Dr. O | July 29, 2008 8:14 AM | Report abuse

RA says that realplayer 11 for Macs does not require the update.

Posted by: Sandy | July 29, 2008 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Come on... I'm sick and tired of all the anti-Realplayer lies and distortions.

YES, RealPlayer used to be ugly from about Version 5 up to and including "realOne". It was annoying, it bundled other software, and it installed hooks everywhere.

ALL THIS was fixed at the time of Real Player 10. Some might say "too little, too late" but I don't judge software based on previous versions just as I don't judge people because of past sins by their parents.

In short: there's NOTHING wrong with RealPlayer 10 and 11. Realplayer 10 on Linux is a great player. It's sad that so few realvideo streams can be found as a result of Microsoft's tactics to get content producers into their pocket.

And finally, as someone said above, "Real Alternative" is illegal software, an illegal packaging of Realplayer's DLLs without the GUI. Any vulnerabilities in Real are present in RealAlternative, and worse you cannot get automatic updates with that illegal packaging.

A journalist like you should do better.

Posted by: Fernando | July 29, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, Brian, you journalist, you! LOL

Posted by: Pete from Arlington | July 30, 2008 10:47 AM | Report abuse

I wish you could tell the BBC!

Posted by: Val | August 1, 2008 5:45 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company