Apple Disables Flash for OS X Over Security Concerns

| News

Apple used its built-in malware protection system to disable Adobe Flash version 11.8.800.94 and earlier on Macs on Tuesday over security concerns. The lockdown means that only the most recent version of Flash, 11.8.800.168, will run on OS X Snow Leopard, Lion, and Mountain Lion.

Apple disabled Adobe's Flash on OS X over security threatsApple disabled Adobe's Flash on OS X over security threats

The security vulnerabilities could allow attackers to take control over victim's systems and run malicious code.

You can check your Flash Player version in System PreferencesYou can check your Flash Player version in System Preferences

If Flash is installed on your Mac you can check to see which version you're running by launching System Preferences, selecting the Flash Preference Pane, and then choosing the Advanced tab. You can also update to the latest version of Flash from there, or go to the Adobe Flash Player website to download the installer.

Sign Up for the Newsletter

Join the TMO Express Daily Newsletter to get the latest Mac headlines in your e-mail every weekday.

12 Comments Leave Your Own

FlipFriddle

Maybe Apple can disable it on the whole web. If we ask nicely maybe?

wetmogwai

Things like this and the recent disabling of Java show that Apple systems have no place in the enterprise. I maintain the computers for a business that runs on PCs. I’ve had to make sure they only run old versions of Java and Flash because the developers won’t update the software and web sites they require. Their options are be secure or get their jobs done. If they ran Macs, Apple wouldn’t give them the option. They would just force them to be unable to work. Not cool, Apple. Not cool.

Aftermac

Flash is garbage and I wish there was more urgency to force it into obsolescence. However, Apple should allow users to override this for people that understand the security concerns, but require an older version for whatever reason.

ibuck

I don’t understand why Flash is still so prevalent on the web. One can browse the web on iOS devices, where Flash won’t play, and view videos that require Flash on Macs. Why isn’t the software that allows videos to play on iOS used for Macs as well?

Aftermac

@iBuck

There is no special iOS software that allows Flash video to play on iOS devices.** There is still quite a bit of Flash content that WILL NOT play on iOS (ie. Safari).

Some websites, like YouTube may have an alternate H.264 video that automatically plays for devices that don’t have flash installed. This is designed to be transparent to the end user, and probably what you have experienced.

**There are some iOS browser apps that you can purchase, which render Flash in “The Cloud” and stream the video to your device. Some of these work “ok”. Your mileage may vary.

Bregalad

I use a Flash blocking plug in for my day-to-day browsing because Flash makes most websites slow, but some places insist on Flash so it’s nice to be able to enable it on demand. I still encounter HTML5 videos that simply refuse to play until I right click and choose “Restore Flash”. Eventually the web will transition and I’ll be able to surf Flash free, but that day is not here.

A bigger problem with disabling Flash system-wide is casual online gaming. A huge percentage of such entertainment software is written in Flash. As far as I know you can’t write playable games in HTML5 or any other standards based web technology. Some companies have decided to use Windows technology rather than Flash which throws us back to the bad old days when Macs were treated as second class citizens by the handful of developers who even acknowledged our existence. I’d rather run Flash than go back to having no way to play at all or no way to play with/against Windows users.

I hear you saying “get an iPad, there are thousands of games for it”, but I don’t consider it an upgrade to lose multitasking, keyboard input and precise mouse controls with the ability to hover over items without clicking or dragging. I don’t consider it an upgrade to go from 27” down to 9.7” nor an upgrade to have to buy another piece of hardware.

Yohannon Hadden

@wetmogwai: Seriously?? Did you just contend that you would rather use dead/dying technologies that increase your risk for malware and system infiltration, severely reduce your system performance, and not have access to upwards of 700 *million* iOS devices (as well as other mobile platforms—even ADOBE has stopped creating mobile flash!)?

And this rampant stupidity is the fault of Apple, who would have been REAMED if even a handful of Mac systems were compromised?

(shakes head) Good luck. Seriously, you’re going to need it when every box in that monocultural petrie dish is rooted.

Paul Goodwin

Whenever I run across a web page that requires Flash, I immediately send them a ripping feedback on how ridiculous their pages are in this day and age, and that they are losing potential customers by the thousands because they are living in a dying world. I tell them people won’t get off their iOS devices and go to their desktop machine just to view their page. Life is too short, they move on to their competitor’s page which views fine without Flash. I have a standard note that I copy/paste into their online contact email. Here it is…haha


Your lack of support for iOS devices is unconscionable at this point. Requiring Adobe Flash is holding you back. The number of iOS devices that are your potential customers number close to 1/2 billion…..that’s 1/2 BILLION !!!!!!  The world is changing and you’re not changing with it. Most of the top Internet sites realize this and have updated their services to not require Adobe Flash. Adobe itself recognizes that Flash isn’t suitable for mobile devices, and are no longer updating it for Android. Microsoft Windows 8 will have only limited support for it.

Yes there’s costs associated with updating your site but if even if only 0.1% of the 1/2 billion users that are sign up with you, that’s 500,000 new customers. Your advertisers will pay for the upgrade to your site.

We use our iPads and iPhones almost exclusively now. We only get on our desktop and laptop computers to do the heavy duty stuff. Looking at your web based services is not the heavy duty stuff. We want to be able to have fully functional sites on our browsers too; not a cheesed down app that doesn’t give the user everything the full site does.

When mobile device users see a website, and the first thing they see is a message telling them they need Adobe Flash and they can’t use it on their device, they immediately close that browser page, and go to a page that doesn’t require it. Mobile users would never bookmark a mobile unfriendly site. Mobile devices are fast replacing newspapers and magazines and the number of users looking at websites on mobile devices is rapidly dwarfing the desktop computer web-browsing population. And before long, few if any mobile devices will run Flash because it is a processor and battery eating piece of software with security vulnerabilities.

What’s your rationale for having a website where the majority of the web-browsing population sees nothing but “Adobe Flash Required” or the page controls don’t work.? Requiring Flash on your website puts you in the same position as the buggy whip makers once cars took over in the early 20th century. Flash is 1990s technology. Move on and stay in business.

 

iJack

“Some websites, like YouTube may have an alternate H.264 video that automatically plays for devices that don’t have flash installed.”

Well, YouTube itself has a very nice iOS app, which is free. I don’t know if the content is all MP4 or not, since I haven’t really been checking, and I don’t use Safari, even on my iPad. I’m pretty sure I have watched live streaming flash content on the iOS (Mercury) browser I do use though.

As for Flash on my Mac, Adobe keeps me updated automatically, so I pretty much haven’t skipped a beat.

Paul Goodwin

For my education, how does Apple prevent me, on my computer, from running the older Flash?

iJack

I believe Apple disables the plug-in remotely.  Our Macs and NSA Cupertino are in constant conversation, so long as you’re connected to the Internet.

albatross

Paul,

That’s really good.  Can I use it?

Log-in to comment