“Most of the burden of Flash’s security problems is being carried by the security companies who have to clean up after them,” [Trend Micro chief cybersecurity officer Tom Kellermann] says. “That’s what’s so annoying.”
“Flash. Must. Die,” begged a recent Wired headline.
And Wired wasn’t alone in advocating the death of the notoriously buggy Adobe Flash Player. After a highly publicized data breach of a surveillance technology contractor contained a flood of previously unseen vulnerabilities in Flash, security professionals as prominent as Facebook Chief Security Officer Alex Stamos Flash’s called for Adobe to bury the multimedia player.
But calling for Flash to die is nothing new. In 2012, a CNN headline asked “Did Steve Jobs kill Adobe Flash?” In 2011, one on the tech blog Vision Mobile read “The death of Flash – 8 years in the making.” And in 2010 Mashable had this: “Apple Didn’t Kill Flash, HTML5 Did.”
Flash has been one of the most resilient technologies on the Web because it has been one of the most revolutionary. Without Flash making it easy to play videos online, there would be no YouTube. Without Flash animations, the Web would have been a flat, grainy experience from the player’s invention in 1996 until everyone had broadband.
Should Flash die? Can Flash die? Does it really deserve such an unceremonious death?