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Mozilla blocks Flash in latest Firefox version

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The latest version of the Firefox browser sees developer Mozilla turning its back on Flash.

Mark Schmidt, the head of the Firefox support team at Mozilla, recently tweeted the following news: "BIG NEWS!! All versions of Flash are blocked by default in Firefox as of now."

This was accompanied by a mocked up "Occupy Flash" image.

Schmidt later clarified that this step was a temporary one, and that the ban would be lifted once Adobe sorted itself out. "To be clear, Flash is only blocked until Adobe releases a version which isn't being actively exploited by publicly known vulnerabilities," he tweeted.

It's still possible to manually activate Flash in the settings menu of the latest Firefox version. But ongoing critical vulnerabilities appear to have forced Mozilla to remove Flash support as a default state.

Mozilla isn't the only tech company to attach Flash in recent days. Facebook's new chief security officer, Alex Stamos, recently called for a firm end-of-life date for Flash from Adobe.

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Flash has become a key route of attack for hackers, with Adobe persistently struggling to patch up its leaky, creaky old multimedia platform.

Steve Jobs famously penned an open letter explaining Apple's issues and continued non-support of Flash way back in 2010. He cited security issues, among others.

toboev

July 14, 2015, 11:08 am

I thought HTML5 was to consign Flash to the history books? What happened?

Everlast

July 14, 2015, 12:27 pm

Yes!
At last the small percentage of sites that do not want to migrate to HTML5 for video/streaming will be forced to by one of the large browsers effectively crippling them.

Bugblatter

July 14, 2015, 5:49 pm

That was misinformed hype.

The major use of Flash is to display video, and HTML5 makes it easy to show a video without using Flash.

However Flash is used for a lot more than just videos and HTML5 gives little help with that stuff.

Silverlight should probably have been what killed Flash but it never got enough use adoption for companies to use it in favour of Flash, i.e. you could use Flash and 99.9% of users could use your site, or you could use Silverlight and see that drop to around 70%. Now Silverlight's pretty much dead for normal websites.

toboev

July 14, 2015, 6:06 pm

and if Silverlight ever did get the same penetration as Flash, would the attention lead to it being just as prone to having its bugs discovered and exploited? Or is there just something inherent to Flash that means it will always be insecure, regardless?

Bugblatter

July 14, 2015, 7:23 pm

Flash was created a long time ago, in a more innocent age when people left their internet front doors open. It wasn't architected for security, so Adobe has tried to patch security into it.

Silverlight was created more recently, long after the time Microsoft started treating security as a first class concern when creating a product. Also as it was based on a version of the .NET Framework it was inherently protected from things such as buffer overruns and SQL injection attacks (assuming developers don't do really daft things) which have long been exploited by attackers.

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