Adobe will finally retire Flash in 2020

End-of-life is coming for the beloved but buggy plugin

Adobe Flash hit with zero day vulnerability again

Adobe plans to phase out Flash completely by 2020, when it will stop releasing updates for the buggy plugin.

Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Mozilla's web browsers and platforms will stop supporting it (Google already started this process last year), turning to open web technologies like HTML5, WebGL and WebAssembly.

While Flash has become the basis of many industries and businesses, such as gaming, education and video, its use has dwindled in recent years - Google shared stats showing that just 17% of Chrome users visit a webpage using Flash each day, after it stopped enabling it by default, compared to 80% three years ago.

"Today, most browser vendors are integrating capabilities once provided by plugins directly into browsers and deprecating plugins," Adobe admitted in a blog post.

"We will stop updating and distributing the Flash Player at the end of 2020 and encourage content creators to migrate any existing Flash content to these new open formats."

Flash's widespread popularity also made it a target for hackers, and even with regular patches Flash suffered from many bugs. One security firm, Recorded Future, found Flash Player comprised eight out of 10 top vulnerabilities leveraged by exploit kits in 2015, with more than 100 exploit kits and vulnerabilities affecting the technology, according to Gizmodo.

That's what led to Google opting to default to HTML5, forcing users to manually allow browsers to play Flash videos. However, one developer has already started a petition on GitHub to open source the technology, and allow web developers to fix it.

"Flash is an important piece of Internet history and killing Flash means future generations can't access the past. Games, experiments and websites would be forgotten," said the developer, Juha Lindstedt.

But until end-of-life in 2020, Adobe will continue to release security patches for Flash, keeping up with browser and operating system changes to make sure it's compatible and adding new features and capabilities as they're needed by the industry.

The software company will also try and stop the use of the Flash player in certain places where it's being distributed illegally as an unlicensed or outdated version.

"Adobe will also remain at the forefront of leading the development of new web standards and actively participate in their advancement.," the company said.

"This includes continuing to contribute to the HTML5 standard and participating in the WebAssembly Community Group. And we'll continue to provide best in class animation and video tools such as Animate CC, the premier web animation tool for developing HTML5 content, and Premiere Pro CC."

Featured Resources

The complete guide to changing your phone system provider

Optimise your phone system for better business results

Download now

Simplify cluster security at scale

Centralised secrets management across hybrid, multi-cloud environments

Download now

The endpoint as a key element of your security infrastructure

Threats to endpoints in a world of remote working

Download now

2021 state of IT asset management report

The role of IT asset management for maximising technology investments

Download now

Recommended

Ryuk behind a third of all ransomware attacks in 2020
Security

Ryuk behind a third of all ransomware attacks in 2020

29 Oct 2020
REvil hacking group says it has made more than $100m in a year
Security

REvil hacking group says it has made more than $100m in a year

29 Oct 2020
36 billion personal records exposed by hacks in 2020 so far
Security

36 billion personal records exposed by hacks in 2020 so far

29 Oct 2020
Trump website defaced in second successive cyber breach
Security

Trump website defaced in second successive cyber breach

28 Oct 2020

Most Popular

Do smart devices make us less intelligent?
artificial intelligence (AI)

Do smart devices make us less intelligent?

19 Oct 2020
Politicians need to stop talking about technology
Policy & legislation

Politicians need to stop talking about technology

21 Oct 2020
Best MDM solutions 2020
mobile device management (MDM)

Best MDM solutions 2020

21 Oct 2020