It’s been a rough week for the fate of Adobe’s Flash Player plugin. Yesterday we told you about Facebook’s security chief pushing Steve Jobs’ anti-Flash message and calling on Adobe to announce an end-of-life date for the plugin, and today a major web browser has opted to actually block Flash to protect users from security issues. Mozilla said today that it is temporarily disabling Flash by default until Adobe is able to address recent exploits discovered in the plugin…
While the block doesn’t completely prevent Firefox users from using Flash, it does mean users will have to actively click-to-enable the plugin. Mozilla’s action also further highlights the growing concern over Flash’s stability as a secure browser plugin.
Mark Schmidt, Firefox’s head of support, linked to Jobs’ famous “Thoughts on Flash” essay from 2010 in a tweet address the temporary block. At the time, the Apple co-founder was addressing the company’s decision not to support the Flash Player plugin at all on iPhones, iPads, and iPods due to several concerns including security.
Although Apple has moved to block support for older versions of Flash over security issues in the past and the OS X operating system has long shipped without Flash included, Apple has not completely disabled support for Flash in Safari. Instead, Safari has aggressively alerted users of outdated versions of Flash while requiring users to use the latest version of the plugin.
Users that rely on the Adobe plugin should install Flash Player 18.104.22.168 that was released today.