Adobe’s Flash is experiencing tough times: Mozilla has blocked all Flash plugin versions in its Firefox browser. Worse still, Facebook has called for the developers to kill it off. This turn of events follows a series of flaws in Adobe’s Flash being actively exploited. Those include vulnerabilities exposed by the Hacking Team leak.
If you use Firefox to surf the web and want to view Flash-based content, like videos, adverts or more complex Internet tools for uploading photos and other actions, you will have to click twice and accept a warning saying that “Flash is known to be vulnerable”. In other words, Firefox users can’t use Flash by default anymore and will not be able to do so until the developers issue patches to the security bugs and update the plugin.
— Mark Schmidt (@MarkSchmidty) July 14, 2015
Indeed, for a few days now Adobe has been struggling to keep up with the number of security flaws being exposed within Flash. It went so bad that Facebook’s head of security, previously known for improving the security of Yahoo’s operations, called for Flash to be killed off and recommended to decide on the date in advance so that the industry has time to switch away from the tool. This sounds fair: no developers will take the time to rewrite their tools and upgrade to HTML5, as everyone expects Flash to never die.
On the other hand, there are many alternatives that can replace Flash. A number of popular video streaming services, like Sky TV and Netflix, decided to use Microsoft’s Silverlight instead of Adobe’s Flash. However, even this plugin was rejected by browsers including Chrome, forcing people to switch to HTML5. It should be noted that the move towards using native HTML5 for major Flash uses was welcomed by almost everyone, expect for some services that require DRM to secure licenses.
If Facebook decides to block Flash wholesale, which is still used by some of the games and apps developed by 3rd-party publishers plus some Facebook’s own upload tools, the social network will send a powerful message.
Besides, it is known that most of the major American tech firms, including Google and Apple, openly blocked Flash from existing on their mobile devices and have moved towards more modern and secure technologies. Apparently, today the online community is advocating that it’s time to put Flash out to pasture.