The end of an era is near.
Adobe on Tuesday announced plans to officially “end-of-life” Flash Player; it will cease to update and distribute Flash at the end of 2020.
“As open standards like HTML5, WebGL and WebAssembly have matured over the past several years, most now provide many of the capabilities and functionalities that plugins [like Flash] pioneered and have become a viable alternative for content on the web,” the company wrote. “Today, most browser vendors are integrating capabilities once provided by plugins directly into browsers and deprecating plugins.”
The news is probably music to the ears of IT security pros everywhere. In 2015, the plugin was deemed “the most frequently exploited product” by security firm Recorded Future, which said it provided “eight of the top 10 vulnerabilities leveraged by exploit kits.”
And yet, the plugin is still used by many websites to run videos, animations and similar content.
Adobe, which ceased development of mobile versions of Flash 2011, said Tuesday it’s “committed to supporting Flash through 2020, as customers and partners put their migration plans into place.” Until then, the company plans to issue regular security patches, maintain operating system and browser compatibility and add new features and capabilities as needed.
Adobe added that it will work with partners like Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Mozilla to “maintain the security and compatibility of Flash content.” Those companies have already started the transition away from the technology; their blog posts about the transition are linked above.
Apple — never a fan of Flash — started moving way from Flash on the Mac in 2010; it’s now off by default and requires explicit approval on each website before Flash will run.
Adobe added that it plans to “move more aggressively” to kill Flash in “certain geographies where unlicensed and outdated versions” of the plugin are being distributed.