After Facebook’s chief security officer has called for the death of Adobe Flash Player, Mozilla decided to actively block the plugin on Firefox. When it was brought to world’s attention once again that Flash is extremely vulnerable, Mozilla made the decision to block it until there was an Adobe Flash update that addressed security issues.
Adobe Flash Update is Not Blocked by Firefox
On July 6, 2015, an Italian security company called the Hacking Team was hacked, ironically. Documents leaked by the hackers showed that the Hacking Team actually sold digital weapons to the FBI, DEA, U.S. Army and Sudanese human rights offenders. The leaked documents helped the world rediscover just how insecure Flash is. One of these cyber-weapons distributed by the Hacking Team is a Flash exploitation that could allow a hacker to take control of and crash an infected computer. There has already been an Adobe Flash update that Firefox does not automatically block. However, could Mozilla’s readiness to block the plugin be indicative of a larger movement to give up on it entirely?
Why the Anti-Flash Sentiment?
Besides the exploitation from the Hacking Team, there is a laundry list of other exploitations to which Flash is notoriously vulnerable. Since Flash has been around for so long and has been so widely distributed, hackers have become terribly adept at using exploit kits to find holes in it, allowing them to infect your computer with things like ransomware and other harmful viruses.
Flash Fell Off
Flash is not nearly as relevant as it once was. Since it’s not really supported in mobile devices, Flash is largely limited to PCs. The market for mobile devices is increasing while the market for PCs is decreasing, which does not help Flash’s cause. YouTube also switched from Flash, making HTML5 its default. So basically, Flash is not vital to the average PC user. In fact, despite any new Adobe Flash update, many people have recommended disabling Flash entirely since its absence will barely be noticeable.