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No, seriously: It’s time for Adobe Flash to die

Published Jul 13th, 2015 8:05PM EDT
Why Adobe Flash Must Die

Somewhere, Steve Jobs is smiling. Per The Verge, Facebook chief security officer Alex Stamos has taken to Twitter to argue that Adobe needs to set a sunset date for its Flash technology that was once a staple of the web but that now finds itself hurtling toward irrelevance thanks to the slow but steady rise of HTML5.

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“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 declared. “Even if [it’s] 18 months from now, one set date is the only way to disentangle the dependencies and upgrade the whole ecosystem at once.”

Flash has a very poor reputation for security, which was something that the late Steve Jobs highlighted in his infamous missive against the technology back in 2010. Stamos’s declaration that Flash needs to die comes at a time when Flash has once again been shown to have significant security holes, including most recently when the Hacking Team spyware company had about 400GB of files stolen thanks to a Flash vulnerability. While Adobe has patched this particular flaw, it seems there’s no limit to the number of different vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit.

Earlier this year, YouTube moved away from Flash and made HTML5 its primary technology for delivering videos, which took away one of the last remaining strongholds of Flash’s relevance. While Flash won’t die overnight, its time is definitely coming and Stamos makes a compelling case that Adobe should start getting ready for the inevitable.

Prior to joining BGR as News Editor, Brad Reed spent five years covering the wireless industry for Network World. His first smartphone was a BlackBerry but he has since become a loyal Android user.