Firefox now blocks Adobe Flash player automatically
Numerous flaws and industry pressure lead to removal of notoriously insecure software
All versions of Mozilla's Firefox browser have blocked Adobe Flash, following the discovery of various cybersecurity issues inherent in the software.
The security bugs, easily exploited by cyber-thieves, were detailed in leaked documents from Hacking Team, reports BBC News, after the security firm was targeted. Despite claims from Adobe that the bugs would be fixed, Mozilla has blocked the software until a new version is released.
At the end of June, security firm FireEye discovered new zero-day vulnerabilities affecting Flash, the latest in a long line of security flaws affecting the player.
Vulnerabilities in Flash can be used by hackers to install malware and steal data, as well as to take over victims' computers completely. Mozilla's advice to users is to disable the software, enabling it only when necessary.
A post on the Mozilla support page reads: "Some websites see Adobe Flash to display content. However, attackers can also use the security flaws in Flash to run malicious software on your computer and gain access to your system.
"One way to protect yourself is by disabling or removing Flash, but if your trusted websites require Flash, you can change your plugin settings so that Flash runs only when you click to activate it."
Previously, Facebook's new security chief Alex Stamos called for Flash to be killed off once and for all, tweeting: "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."
The reason for these ongoing problem for Adobe were summed up by ESET security specialist Mark James, who said: "If you want to affect as many people as possible then you need an application that a lot of users use and Flash is one of them."