Jamf Blog
December 22, 2020 by Jenn Valentine

Get the Flash Out

Adobe ends support of Flash Player December 31 of this year. And on January 12, 2021, it will block content from running. Are you ready?

After two decades of development and support, on 31 December at 11:59pm, Adobe will end support of Flash Player. Adobe Flash Player allows users to view and stream digital content that can be downloaded from the web or used as a plug-in. Adobe not only will cease and desist updates and security patches for Flash Player, it will block content from running it beginning on 12 January 2021.

The year’s 2020 and the disk is full.

At one point, was Adobe Flash Player essential to play online games, stream your favorite 90s hip hop music, or fall down YouTube’s recommendation rabbit hole? Yes. Was it free? (Free is my favorite four-letter “F” word, followed by food.) Yes. Will the world react the way it did for Y2K on 1 January 2000? Who knows. But if you are left asking yourself, ‘Why now?’ ‘Why End of Life Flash now?’ It is because of the maturation of open-source, standards-based technologies such as HTML5, WebGL, and WebAssembly serves as an acceptable alternative for Flash content. In the event you need to migrate and missed the 3-year warning, check out to how to convert Flash Ads to HTML5 or converting animations from one platform to another.

So long, farewell

Over the years, Flash Player was riddled with vulnerabilities. 1,078 to be exact. You can read up more about Flash Player’s Common Vulnerability and Exposures here. Once Adobe forgoes Flash Player updates or security patches, running legacy applications becomes risky. It essentially makes the lifetime of an exploit indefinite. On 8 December, Adobe wrote in their last release note update for Flash Player urging users to “immediately uninstall Flash Player to help protect their systems.”

If you absolutely must still play your Flash media, put your sights on using some Mac alternatives. Otherwise, so long, farewell.

Migrate or GTFO

Get the Flash Out! Let’s talk mitigation actions.

Step 1: Search and Destroy: Run the uninstaller on your Mac devices.

Step 2: Update your preferred web browser with the latest version: Most mainstream browsers already ended their Flash support. If not, those that remain will do so shortly. So ensure your users are updating to the latest browsers.

Step 3: For the super thorough, restart your devices.

Saying Goodbye with Jamf

Breaking up is hard to do, but it’s for the best. Jamf Pro and Jamf Protect can distribute the uninstaller, protect against attacks masquerading as Flash Players, and reduce the risk of fake Flash Player installs by following the below three steps.

Step 1: Search and Destroy

Distribute the uninstaller from Adobe, follow these suggestions in Jamf Nation or the instructions in Der Flounder's post.

 /Users/viki2/Library/Application Support/Google/Chrome/Local State/Library/Internet Plug-Ins/PepperFlashPlayer /Users/viki2/Library/Application Support/Google/Chrome/ZxcvbnData/1/us_tv_and_film.txt /Users/viki2/Library/Application Support/Google/Chrome/ZxcvbnData/1/passwords.txt /Users/viki2/Library/Application Support/Google/Chrome/ZxcvbnData/1/english_wikipedia.txt /Users/viki2/Library/Application Support/Google/Chrome/PepperFlash/ /Users/viki2/Library/Application Support/Google/Chrome/PepperFlash /Library/PreferencePans/Flash Player.prefPane /Library/Application Support/Adobe/Flash Player Install Manager /Applications/Utilities/Adobe Flash Player Install Manager.app

Step 2: Prevent new installs with Jamf Protect.

Note: Adobe used the same signing ID for the uninstaller as the Flash installer packages. If you set up this prevention and are relying on the official uninstaller, please ensure that the uninstaller has completed successfully first. If you're using other mechanisms to remove Flash, such as the scripts from Der Flounder's post, this prevention rule should not interfere with the removal of Flash.

Step 3: There is no step 3 😊

(Except resting assured that all existing flash is uninstalled, no existing legitimate flash will be installed without proper maintenance and any abused flash can proactively be detected with Jamf Protect’s analytics.)

Hey PC friends, for further information, check out how to uninstall Adobe Flash Player for Windows and Window-based Flash alternatives. And just in case: here's where you could buy a Mac.

At Jamf, we remain committed to making our customers successful with Apple and Jamf products. And with Adobe Flash Player end of life, Jamf stands ready to help you manage, connect and protect.

Jenn Valentine
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