Adobe releases the final Flash Player update before its shut down in January

Adobe asks users to uninstall the flawed plugin before its end of life on January 12

Adobe to kill Flash next monthAdobe released the last patch for Flash before its demise in January

There is probably no other more iconic plugin than Adobe Flash Player. First introduced 24 years ago, Flash was broadly used for multimedia content such as video streaming or displaying media-rich content. Now, its developer is finally getting ready to kill it for good. The shutdown is not only needed due to the technology being outdated but also due to its flawed nature and abuse it sustained from cybercriminals over the years.[1]

On its official website, Flash Player release notes were rather positive about the change:[2]

Today marks the final scheduled release of Flash Player for all regions outside of Mainland China. We want to take a moment to thank all of our customers and developers who have used and created amazing Flash Player content over the last two decades. We are proud that Flash had a crucial role in evolving web content across animation, interactivity, audio, and video. We are excited to help lead the next era of digital experiences.

Adobe also said that it would stop all support for the plugin after December 31, 2020, and, from January 12, Flash content will no longer run on the Flash app.

The developer of the app actively tried to convince users to uninstall the flawed plugin from their systems before the End of Life date to protect their computers from unsolicited cybercriminal intrusions. Despite the warnings, the incidents are likely to arise due to negligence and lack of cybersecurity awareness.

Skipping the latest update will not stop the doomsday of Flash

Adobe first announced the withdrawal of Flash in July 2017, when several major tech companies (Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and others) collectively agreed to start the process.

The latest update released by the tech giant on December 8 tries to convince users to uninstall the plugin as soon as possible to protect their machines from possible harm. While some users might believe that skipping such an update would prevent the kill switch to be activated, it is not the case.

Adobe explained that the code responsible for the plugin's inevitable demise was added a few months ago. This latest update only modifies a few language settings of a prompt that urges users to uninstall the app.[3]

The support for Flash will be revoked from Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, MS Edge, Internet Explorer and other Chromium browsers on January 12. The re-installation of the plugin will also be impossible. Microsoft has already withdrawn Flash from Internet Explorer 11 earlier this year in October[4] and offered an optional update last month that would permanently delete it on the operating system level.

You should uninstall Adobe Flash – the sooner, the better

While the plugin was notorious for its extensive exploitation due to security flaws, as well as its name's usage within the phishing campaigns, it played a major role in the development and evolution of the internet. Most regular users known Flash for games that were accessible via the internet many years ago – these are still available on a limited number of websites. Overall usage of Flash programming language remains as low as 2.3% as of December 2020.[5]

With the rise of new technologies like JavaScript, HTML 5, or CSS, Flash is practically obsolete and no longer required for the multimedia content to be displayed on any modern web browser. Therefore, you should listen to the creators of the plugin and uninstall it now, without waiting for its EOL (End of Life) in January.

Similarly to using the unsupported Windows 7 operating system, running Flash after the EOL date would be extremely dangerous, as it could allow cybercriminals to take over any computer that has the flawed plugin installed on the system.

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Julie Splinters
Julie Splinters - Anti-malware specialist

Julie Splinters is the News Editor of 2-spyware. Her bachelor was English Philology.

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