Adobe will recommend Flash Player users to uninstall the app before December 31st of this year when the end of life date comes. With the kill date slowly approaching, Adobe said that it will start notifying users to uninstall the software in the coming months.
The End of Life (EOL) timeline has been a long time coming. The company first revealed in July 2017 that it will not update or distribute Flash Player anymore, as of the end of 2020. In the new post released on its Adobe Flash Player EOL information page, Adobe stated that after December 31st, it will stop updates for Flash, remove the software download links from its website and obstruct Flash-based content from running in Adobe Flash Player.
“Adobe will not issue Flash Player updates or security patches after the EOL date,” the company representatives said. “We recommend that all users uninstall Flash Player before the EOL date (see manual uninstall instructions for Windows and Mac users). Users will be prompted by Adobe to uninstall Flash Player on their machines later this year, and Flash-based content will be blocked from running in Adobe Flash Player after the EOL Date.”
Alternatives are Available
Adobe Flash Player is known for being a preferred target for cyberattacks, especially for exploit kits, zero-day attacks, and phishing schemes. That, along with the emergence of open standards, such as HTML5, WebGL, and WebAssembly other viable alternatives offered, made Adobe decide to kill the software.
The EOL announcement has a large impact on developers, enterprises, and consumers using certain OS environments or browsers, but Adobe has collaborated with a bunch of technology partners, including Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Mozilla, to get ready for EOL.
“The major browser vendors are integrating these open standards into their browsers and deprecating most other plug-ins (like Adobe Flash Player),” said Adobe. “By announcing our business decision in 2017, with three years’ advance notice, we believed that would allow sufficient time for developers, designers, businesses, and other parties to migrate existing Flash content as needed to new, open standards.”
Ending Support for Adobe Flash Player
For example, Google decided to no longer support Flash in Chrome 76, and Mozilla announced that it would end default support for the software in Firefox 69. Microsoft disabled Adobe Flash Player by default in Edge and Internet Explorer back in 2019, saying it would completely remove the app from both browsers in December 2020.
Until the official EOL, Adobe will keep releasing regular Flash Player security patches, maintain OS and browser compatibility, along with features and capacities.
Tim Wade, technical director, and CTO Team at Vectra praised the decision, saying that Adobe Flash Player has had a long history of malicious issues, and replacement technologies have developed to the point of being viable alternatives.
“This is a change telegraphed years in advance to minimize business disruption, and it incentivizes the protection of internet users by forcing the migration of the web towards safer and more reliable open standards,” said Wade.
However, “even with safer technologies in play businesses must still maintain diligence around their secure software delivery lifecycle, and users should still maintain awareness of basic safety and security on the web such as being mindful of the types of sites they visit, and where they share their personal data,” he said.