Adobe’s Flash plug-in has few friends these days. And Mozilla isn’t one of them. In a tweet, Mozilla's head of Firefox support, Mark Schmidt, announced Tuesday that the browser now blocks Flash by default.
The moves comes after researchers discovered several security exploits in the plug-in by sifting through documents from the Hacking Team -- an Italian cybersecurity company that sells surveillance software to governments. Those documents were obtained from 400GB of data from the company that leaked onto the Web last week.
— Mark Schmidt (@MarkSchmidty) July 14, 2015
But should a user need Flash, it’s still possible to re-enable it. Mozilla’s move comes following a tweet from Facebook security chief Alex Stamos, calling for the Adobe to kill Flash as well.
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.
— Alex Stamos (@alexstamos) July 12, 2015
Flash was once the go-to plug-in for Internet video and interactive games through the 1990s and early 2000s. But with the rise of HTML5 -- which has built-in support for video and interactive content -- it has grown to seem obsolete over the years. And some of its security flaws have been used by hackers to gain access to a system -- including an alleged attempt by Chinese hackers to gain access to U.S. government systems last year.
Though Firefox blocks Flash by default, it isn’t necessarily a permanent move. Mozilla’s website says all versions of Adobe Flash will be deactivated from its browser until Adobe releases an updated version to address security issues.
This isn’t the first time critics have stepped up to call for the end of Flash. In 2010, Apple's Steve Jobs wrote an open letter, also calling for Flash's demise in the “mobile era.”