THE MOZILLA FOUNDATION has confirmed that it will stop default support of its Flash plug-in starting with Firefox 69, as a first step towards decommissioning it all together in the coming months.
Mozilla is one of the last browsers to continue supporting the aged multimedia rendering protocol which has become synonymous with security risks in recent years and is now used by under five per cent of computer users.
Although we’ve known for a while that Mozilla would be joining its brethren in ditching the outdated technology, this is the first sign of movement on the issue, which will see Flash completely removed from the standard consumer version of its browser in early 2020, with the Extended Support (ESR) gone by the end of the year.
Mozilla has said that from 2021, there’ll be no access to Flash at all – citing the lack of security updates, as Adobe prepares to sunset the product properly, once and for all.
The current stable version of Firefox is version 64, suggesting that it’ll be summer before there’s any formal movement on this anyway.
Firefox no longer supports any other legacy NPAPI (Netscape legacy) plug-ins and has only kept Flash going due to its ongoing popularity. Until relatively recently it continued to power a large number of ads, until Google decided to ban the use of it from its platforms.
At present, Flash is available as an exception to the no-NPAPI rule but requires users to click on the content to activate it, otherwise, it appears as a still image.
Adobe released Flash back in the early part of the millennium, and it was a revelation, allowing developers to embed moving images and sounds to their sites in a way that had been hitherto unimaginable.
But it became apparent fairly quickly that Flash is inherently unsecure and as a result, Adobe was, at its peak, releasing multiple patches in a single month, and releasing up to 100 patches in a single bundle, such was the rate of discovery of exploits.
Google Chrome continues to allow Flash if it is manually enabled, but will also cease support at the end of 2020. Microsoft Edge also allows users to enable it, for now. μ
Source : Inquirer