The End of Flash? Firefox Is Now Automatically Blocking Flash By Default

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The End of Flash? Firefox Is Now Automatically Blocking Flash By Default

Due to security concerns, Mozilla is taking Facebook's lead and automatically blocking Adobe Flash in Firefox browsers by default.

At one time, Adobe Flash used to be cutting edge, letting content creators display videos and game content in anyone's browser. It quickly proliferated across the internet and directly supported the growth of web portals like Newgrounds, but today? Flash is a security nightmare, filled with holes which enterprising hackers can exploit to access your system. For that reason, Facebook's head of security, Alex Stamos, is calling on Adobe to kill Flash for good. Meanwhile, Mozilla's Mark Schmidt is going a step further by blocking all versions of Flash in Firefox - at least until Adobe gives it an overhaul.

"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," Stamos wrote via Twitter.

The popular Flash plugin was a precursor to modern video delivery systems, making it possible to view content without downloading massive files. We now have a huge array of alternatives, but Flash is so prevalent on the internet that many websites haven't bothered to make the leap. Stamos and Schmidt are basically saying that if Adobe won't make Flash more secure, other companies need to pressure the internet to embrace other solutions.

"To be clear, Flash is only blocked until Adobe releases a version which isn't being actively exploited by publicly known vulnerabilities," Schmidt clarified on his own Twitter account.

While I'm all for internet security, I have to admit it's incredibly bizarre to read these statements. Flash once had a unbeatable presence across multiple tech fields, to the point that Adult Swim television shows were produced with it. Flash also launched the careers of several indie developers, leading to the creation of games like Super Meat Boy. In other words, Flash enabled a great deal of what we love about the internet and modern media, a detail many critics don't always acknowledge.

At the same time, Adobe doesn't have the best track record for addressing security flaws or keeping up with the competition. We might finally be at the point where brand-name recognition isn't enough to protect Flash anymore - but whether that leads to Adobe updating Flash or putting it out of its misery remains to be seen.

Source: Engadget

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Oh so thats what happened.

Like hell im turning Flash off. Cant watch anime or youtube nor can i do anything on Newgrounds.

It did have the nice side effect of slaying all the ads though :P

Does kind of remind you just how old Flash is though. Its original incarnations date back to 1995.

This site really needs to move to HTML5 or whatever tbh. the writing is on the wall.

You can watch youtube without flash gigastar.

Find out how to switch to HTML5 version. a lot of the time it actually works better for me.

well unless the some of the videos i watch start using a different thing i will not stop using it

Past is the past, corporate future is now? No. This is stupid. Flash is fine. Everything has security problems in one way or another and outright killing a longstanding program which things will continue to rely upon due to them being abandoned, is stupid.

A newer, shinier flash is probably the future but continuity is needed. Upgrade and patch flash, but upgrade from existing code so it's nice and compatible and stays recognizable as flash.

Good. Let it die a fast death and switch over to HTML5 already.

Its long, dragged out death needs to stop now. If the security for it isn't taken seriously, hand over the majority of animations/videos to a better alternative.

The one thing I see happening though is the crashing of a lot of old stuff I like without any way to view it. Unless the people who 'run' those sites actually care, some experiences are bound to get lost in the transition. :/

Anti-American Eagle:
Past is the past, corporate future is now? No. This is stupid. Flash is fine. Everything has security problems in one way or another and outright killing a longstanding program which things will continue to rely upon due to them being abandoned, is stupid.

A newer, shinier flash is probably the future but continuity is needed. Upgrade and patch flash, but upgrade from existing code so it's nice and compatible and stays recognizable as flash.

There's a definite difference in architecture and attack surface though.

Flash is built on NPAPI which runs it natively with the same privileges as your browser. Whilst browsers can and do take serious measures to limit Flash's capabilities the simple fact remains that the basic architecture it's built upon has a much larger attack surface than HTML5 alternatives.

Whilst it's true that everything has security problems in one way or another, Flash's problems are simply much more likely to be serious due to it's nature.

Simply put. Flash is built on a marsh. It's sinking. We can keep on doing intensive maintenance to keep it upright but it's going to keep on sinking. Or we could move to a nice HTML5 place build on solid ground, which certainly would require maintenance as well, but at least it's not built on a freaking marsh.

All I had to do to stop Firefox from blocking Flash was to update to the latest version of Flash. Not that big a deal.

Meh, the only time I ever want to use Flash is to play the occasional Adult Swim browser game or watch some series or anime.

Actually HTML5 runs and looks wonderfully better than Flash, so... yeah, I expect the move to HTML5 soon, it was a long time coming, to be honest.

And Chrome has blocked Unity. This is a very annoying trend.

I got it deactivated for a month now, surprisingly pretty much everything I frequent doesn't use it anyway.

Adam Jensen:
Good. Let it die a fast death and switch over to HTML5 already.

Dear gods, please let this happen. Flash is basically on terminal life support now. Even Adobe doesn't seem to give a shit about it anymore. With each new update, we're faced either with catastrophic security issues or massive technical problems like memory leaks.

Flash needs to go away or undergo a dramatic overhaul. At this point, I'm all for the former. And frankly, Adobe should feel the same.

Well that explains why I had to re-allow Flash on every website. If you want to kill it, Mozilla, fine, but at least provide an alternative before fucking over my video watching.

gigastar:

Like hell im turning Flash off. Cant watch anime or youtube nor can i do anything on Newgrounds.

I'm watching YouTube right now. With Flash disabled.

Vigormortis:

Dear gods, please let this happen. Flash is basically on terminal life support now. Even Adobe doesn't seem to give a shit about it anymore. With each new update, we're faced either with catastrophic security issues or massive technical problems like memory leaks.

Flash needs to go away or undergo a dramatic overhaul. At this point, I'm all for the former. And frankly, Adobe should feel the same.

Unfortunately, I expect half-ass measures to get it fixed to the point Mozilla caves, goes "good enough" and enables it by default again.

Zydrate:
And Chrome has blocked Unity. This is a very annoying trend.

You understand that you can enable Flash, right? And it's specifically disabled because of known security issues?

I'm not sure I'll be sad to see Flash go bye-bye, but disabling it seems the right step here.

I don't think Archer was ever on Adult Swim, at least not in the US.

...

I don't think Flash should go away entirely. Too much of the internet relies on it. So many games, so many toons. I mean, Homestar Runner! We should move on to alternatives, but keeping it around is a necessity for historic preservation.

Although, I do think the end of Flash would be the end of the browser game as we know it. Unity is nice and all, but it's pretty heavy for browser use. I don't think HTML5 gaming is going to go anywhere, having consistency between browsers is part of what actually made Flash decent when it wasn't terrible. So maybe we'll see a resurgence in Java?

I had finally got rid of Flash months ago (just de-installed it, altogether) when they had a big 0-day exploit running in the wild for their latest update at the time. There's only been one instance for which I had begrudgingly reinstalled it, briefly, and then re-de-install it after I was done, and that was to clean-up the thumbs-up/thumbs-downs on my stations in Pandora. And before anyone says anything, I don't listen to Pandora through my browser. I use my mobile devices or the desktop app, instead. Otherwise, I have not needed or missed Flash (that memory and CPU hogging, insecure monstrosity) so much as one iota (even more so now that Twitch no longer needs Flash, not even for the chat).

gigastar:
Oh so thats what happened.

Like hell im turning Flash off. Cant watch anime or youtube nor can i do anything on Newgrounds.

It did have the nice side effect of slaying all the ads though :P

Does kind of remind you just how old Flash is though. Its original incarnations date back to 1995.

Wait what? You still go to Newgrounds?

Tyranicus:

gigastar:
Oh so thats what happened.

Like hell im turning Flash off. Cant watch anime or youtube nor can i do anything on Newgrounds.

It did have the nice side effect of slaying all the ads though :P

Does kind of remind you just how old Flash is though. Its original incarnations date back to 1995.

Wait what? You still go to Newgrounds?

Yes. Once in a while to see if Krinkels has actually done anything.

Hagi:
Simply put. Flash is built on a marsh. It's sinking. We can keep on doing intensive maintenance to keep it upright but it's going to keep on sinking.

So now that it's burned down, fallen over and sank for the third time again maybe it will stay up now.

OT: Use an extension to blacklist flash by default and only load it on sites you trust. It's more secure and a better browsing experience.

Ah Flash. Damned if you do upgrade and damned if you don't.
Explains why I had to re-enable it again for every site. But if YT can run without flash, then yeah. I'll be removing this damn program, it makes Firefox hang and hogs resources.

Ah, I was wondering why all of a sudden I kept getting the message about FireFox blocking Flash EVERYWHERE. I thought that was kind of odd. It has killed a lot of adds for me, so that's nice, but I must go check something now...

Hm...I see. Apparently I can't watch my anime anymore. Yeah...that's going to be a problem. Might be time to finally kick it into gear here, Adobe.

I hope adobe will rename flash professional now, I'm getting annoyed of people disragarding my animation advice because they get flash player confused with flash professional. (my animations can play in any format you want, I swear!)

Adam Jensen:
Good. Let it die a fast death and switch over to HTML5 already.

I, too, eagerly await the thousands of reports of security holes in HTML5 next.

Hackers gonna hack, yo.

You can't get rid of Flash! I need it to watch Homestar Runner!

image

Mozilla wants Flash to die?
I wonder if this has anything to do with Flash being broken for 4 months on Netscape platform browsers last year.

Zaydin:
All I had to do to stop Firefox from blocking Flash was to update to the latest version of Flash. Not that big a deal.

Exactly. What conundrum? Besides, I happen to like Newgrounds.

Starik20X6:
You can't get rid of Flash! I need it to watch Homestar Runner!

image

they reposted all of their stuff (including the easter eggs) on youtube

granted, not being able to click on the dumb easter eggs kind of takes the fun out of it

SomeGuyOnHisComputer:
I don't think Archer was ever on Adult Swim, at least not in the US.

I think they're confusing Archer with Frisky Dingo, considering they both use the same animation style...

OT: So, that's what those warming about Flash being an "unsafe plugin" meant... Oh well... At least I can still watch YouTube videos...

Sniper Team 4:
Ah, I was wondering why all of a sudden I kept getting the message about FireFox blocking Flash EVERYWHERE. I thought that was kind of odd. It has killed a lot of adds for me, so that's nice, but I must go check something now...

Hm...I see. Apparently I can't watch my anime anymore. Yeah...that's going to be a problem. Might be time to finally kick it into gear here, Adobe.

I was going to ask you where you watch anime that needs flash, then I tried to load up Hulu to watch more Fate Stay Night and realized that Hulu uses flash instead of html5. What the fuck?

I mean, I watch most of my Hulu on my tv anyway, but it seems really odd that they still use flash instead of html5.

On the one hand it was kinda annoying that it was suddenly blocking flash everywhere.

On the other hand flash can be a goddamn nightmare. From a personal perspective I have a Crunchyroll account and their flash player is notoriously terrible. So anything forcing them to actually fix that piece of junk or replace it with something better gets my full support.

The blocking isn't really that bad, two clicks to re-enable, permanently or not. Plus it works site by site, so re-enabling YouTube does not re-enable the embedded player on a different website. I actually like that, as it prevents auto-play.

Dumb question: but does it matter if you use Google chrome or internet explorer?

And if it doesn't work, what can I do to get around it? I'm not very tech savvy, you see.

Firefox was blocking unsafe flash extensions for at least 6 months as far as i remmeber. the only difference now is that there actually is no "safe" update from Adobe for almost a week, making it blocked even for people that keep flash up to date.
Im glad to see flash is being phased out, flash was horrible, always. even back in "ye olde days" there were better alternatives to flash, as much as unpopular they were. im happy to finally see flash come to an end.

gigastar:

Like hell im turning Flash off. Cant watch anime or youtube nor can i do anything on Newgrounds.

You dont need flash for youtube. in fact right now you have to use scripts to force youtube to run in flash because it defaults to HTML5 and gives you no option (though the flash player is still there if you force it via scripts). Though it was flipped to HTML5 this year so maybe you werent aware yet?

mikozero:
This site really needs to move to HTML5 or whatever tbh. the writing is on the wall.

You can watch youtube without flash gigastar.

Find out how to switch to HTML5 version. a lot of the time it actually works better for me.

Youtube is HTML5 by default now and there is no option to switch to flash anymore. you can still force it via scripts if you want.

This site is moving to HTML5. just look at the new video player. The ads however, well, escapist does not control ad companies. its on them to move it.

Anti-American Eagle:
Past is the past, corporate future is now? No. This is stupid. Flash is fine. Everything has security problems in one way or another and outright killing a longstanding program which things will continue to rely upon due to them being abandoned, is stupid.

A newer, shinier flash is probably the future but continuity is needed. Upgrade and patch flash, but upgrade from existing code so it's nice and compatible and stays recognizable as flash.

Flash is not fine. flash was never fine. HTML5 is as far from corporate future as you can get, considering its an open standard. Flash and javascript were always the main culprits of security problems. them and Java, though most people dont have Java installed anymore. HTML5 does what both of those do, better.

Noone "killed" flash. all it takes is pressing a single button and it will load that flash whatever you are using. it just doesnt auto-load for unsecure versions.

no, flash is not the future. Its sad that it lasted as long as it did.

Soviet Heavy:
Well that explains why I had to re-allow Flash on every website. If you want to kill it, Mozilla, fine, but at least provide an alternative before fucking over my video watching.

There has been an alternative for years. its called HTML5. Its vastly superior.

For the most part, I agree with the decision. I just wish they had given everyone a little more warning and given people more information on work arounds.

Soviet Heavy:
Well that explains why I had to re-allow Flash on every website. If you want to kill it, Mozilla, fine, but at least provide an alternative before fucking over my video watching.

It's really easy to re-enable everywhere. Just go to Add-Ons and its under Plug-Ins. Alternatively, you could always find an extension that players HTML5 videos instead of Flash, but at least from my experience, those often only work on the most popular sites (well, at least beyond being hit-or-miss).

CrazyGirl17:
Dumb question: but does it matter if you use Google chrome or internet explorer?

And if it doesn't work, what can I do to get around it? I'm not very tech savvy, you see.

I'm not sure about right now, but Google has been making plans to limit Flash in Chrome. However, I think they just want to stop auto-playing Flash videos.

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