Mozilla disabling support for Adobe Flash Plugin By Default
Adobe’s longtime ugly duckling in their application portfolio, Flash Player, which is scheduled to be discontinued in 2020, is slowly losing support from mainstream browsers. Mozilla, the developer of Firefox has published their flash player support discontinuation timeline.
Firefox will disable the Flash plugin by default. Users will not be prompted to enable Flash, but it will still be possible to activate Flash on certain sites using browser settings.
In early 2020, Flash support will be completely removed from consumer versions of Firefox. The Firefox Extended Support Release (ESR) will continue to support for Flash until the end of 2020.
When Adobe stops shipping security updates for Flash at the end of 2020, Firefox will refuse to load the plugin.
As Adobe since July 2017 has publicly announced the decommissioning of Flash Player, there is no stopping browser vendors from rendering the plugin fully supported on their branded browsers. HTML5, WebGL and are the three technologies that complementarity provides the content platform that used to be solely only possible through Flash Player.
The current version of Mozilla Firefox at the time of this writing is version 64, which implements an ‘ask’ permission for the Flash Player plugin. This means that Firefox itself will not automatically run Flash content, and will prompt the user if she wants to run it using the installed Flash Player plugin. Such behavior will change starting Firefox version 69, with the browser refuses to even inform the user about a Flash content embedded on the page. Users who require Flash Player plugin can explicitly enable Flash content through the settings menu manually.
Mozilla will fully remove any support for the Flash Player plugin in 2020, to fully comply with Adobe’s announcement of Flash Player’s End-Of-Life. Alongside Flash Player’s impending demise is also Firefox’s support with the old and insecure NPAPI plugin architecture. NPAPI is a legacy plugin system first created by Netscape during the late ’90s when the first browser war with Microsoft Internet Explorer took place.
“Plugins are a security and performance problem for Firefox users. NPAPI plugins are an obsolete technology, and Mozilla has been moving toward a Web which doesn’t need plugins. The last remaining NPAPI plugin, Adobe Flash, has announced an end-of-life plan. To support the transition away from Flash, Firefox is working with other browsers to progressively and carefully make Flash usage less common,” explained Mozilla in their official blog.
It is known that the late Steve Jobs has labeled Adobe Flash Player plugin as a security risk and never allowed iOS to support the vulnerable platform. Since then Adobe missed the boat of being in the Apple’s mobile platform but gained short-time success when Android supported Flash Player natively from Froyo to Ice Cream Sandwich (version 2.2 to 4.0). Android 4.1 Jellybean and newer stopped the official Flash Player support, ending Flash Player’s short history with Android in particular and on the mobile platforms in general as far as Google is concerned. Some advanced users are still able to install Adobe Flash Player in Android by sideloading the last 11.2 Flash Player still available in the Flash Player archive site.
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Kevin Jones, Ph.D., is a research associate and a Cyber Security Author with experience in Penetration Testing, Vulnerability Assessments, Monitoring solutions, Surveillance and Offensive technologies etc. Currently, he is a freelance writer on latest security news and other happenings. He has authored numerous articles and exploits which can be found on popular sites like hackercombat.com and others.