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Mozilla blocks Adobe Flash after widespread security threats

BT Online Bureau     July 14, 2015

Mozilla has blocked all versions of Adobe Flash in its Firefox browser, dealing another major blow to Adobe's the much-maligned platform.

Mark Schmidt, the head of the Firefox support team at Mozilla, tweeted that all versions of Flash Player are blocked in the browser as of its latest update, accompanying the news with an image showing a raised fist and the phrase "Occupy Flash."

Security researchers have discovered vulnerabilities in recent versions of Adobe Flash that have not been patched yet by Adobe but are rather exploited by hackers. Most recently  cyberthieves released 400 GB of internal documents stolen from HackingTeam, a Italian security company that helps governments and other organizations steal information. Those documents included details for exploiting weaknesses in Flash, which the HackingTeam called "most beautiful Flash bug for the last four years."

The worldwide web's biggest companies have slowly withdrawn support from the software over the past few years. Earlier this year YouTube made HTML5 its default player, while a recent update to Chrome saw the browser "intelligently" pause Flash to stop unnecessary content from running on web pages. Even Steve Jobs memorably explained his problems with Flash in an open letter published back in 2010, but it's somehow clung doggedly to life, barely surviving the discovery of multiple critical security vulnerabilities every year.

Flash was once the defacto standard for websites to run games, stream video and deliver animation over browser software. These days, Flash is on the wane as more in the online video industry turns to HTML5, a developing language that can run graphics without plugins.


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