Flash, a-ah, saviour of the universe – not for much longer

Posted on: 31 July 2017
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This month our Information and IT Security  officer, Graeme Wolfe, looks at the demise of Adobe Flash and the future of moving images on t’internet.

When I heard that Flash was going to be killed off in 2020, my first thought was for the 1980 movie and Brian Blessed shouting “Flash Gordon’s alive!”

But in reality it is far less entertaining than that. Adobe, the owners of Flash software have decided there will be no more updates and patches for this rather ‘buggy’ and insecure plug in, running in many browsers world-wide.

Until recently Flash ran in browsers, powering videos, games and other animations. But because it was used by so many people, it was a constant target for malware writers trying to get inside it to plant their own code for their own, nefarious, purposes.

It didn’t help that this wasn’t a very secure, or well written piece of software. So regular updates had to be issued out when a vulnerability was exposed.

Newer technologies have superseded Flash, such as HTML5, which is present in just about all modern browsers. Adobe have been slowly removing flash updates and support from other platforms for some time now.

Most ‘Smart’ TV’s will now no longer play Flash based internet video files and games. Android powered smartphones had the support removed around the same time, in 2012. Apple have never liked the product and it was not an option in the App Store. But it did provide a quick and simple way to show moving images in a web browser.

Flash – Gone, but not forgotten.

Graeme Wolfe

Information and IT Security Officer

31/07/2017

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