Adobe Flash on its Deathbed? Mozilla Blocks Plugin in Firefox

Adobe Flash is dead. At least, that’s what many tech leaders are hoping will happen soon. Mozilla Firefox began to automatically block the Adobe Flash plugin on Monday night amid security concerns, just a day after Facebook called for the death of the despised plugin.

A Security Threat

The concerns over Adobe Flash emerged after hackers broke into the government-sponsored group Hacking Team’s databases and leaked a treasure trove of documents which tell in detail how cyber criminals have been using the plugin to hack into people’s computers and install malware.

Mark Schmidt, who leads the support team for Mozilla’s Firefox, tweeted, “BIG NEWS!! All versions of Flash are blocked by default in Firefox as of now.”

Facebook’s new chief security officer, Alex Stamos, also tweeted, “It is time for Adobe to announce the end-of-life date for Flash and to ask the browsers to set killbits on the same day.”

Adobe Flash is Unreliable

Once upon a time, Adobe Flash was the most sought-after plugin on the internet. It was the standard plugin to use if one wanted their web browser to access multimedia items, such as videos, animations, games, GIFs, and interactive websites. However, over the years, Flash began to cause problems for users. Web browsers and computers started crashing as a result of the plugin’s failure, and security issues have occurred several times over the course of Adobe Flash’s life.

In recent years, many websites have begun to favor the use of the internet markup language HTML5 over the Flash plugin. HTML5 accomplishes many of the same things that Adobe Flash does, and is more secure because it does not require the user to install any plugins.

On its Deathbed

Apple sowed the seeds of Adobe Flash discontent into the mainstream in 2010, when it made it clear that its iDevices would not support Flash. Apple’s late co-founder, Steve Jobs, wrote a lengthy open letter in April of that year entitled “Thoughts on Flash” to explain why he had decided not to adopt Flash support, citing the spotty security and saying that Adobe Flash was “the number one reason Macs crash.” He also explained that Flash was full of bugs and had such a horrible security record. Since then, numerous tech experts have joined the war against Adobe Flash over the years, calling for the plugin’s death.


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