Adobe Flash has reached its end of life on December 31, 2020. At the end of January 2021, powersolution will ensure that Microsoft patch KB4577586 is installed on eligible clients’ computers. powersolution will also be creating and remotely running a script that detects and removes Flash from managed systems.

Adobe’s technology for fancy interactive graphics mostly used to spice up your browser has drifted towards its demise for so many years that it has almost single-handedly made a cliché out of Mark Twain’s famous remark that “the report of my death was an exaggeration.”

Many moons ago, Flash was a popular tool for writing online games and publishing browser-based software that worked more like a native app than was possible with the HTML features of the time. However, given that Flash ran right inside your browser and required a complex, powerful plugin to implement what were essentially fancy, turbo-charged, proprietary browser extensions, Flash brought with it a regular supply of exploitable bugs, over and above any other bugs in your browser or your operating system. Cybercriminals could abuse these bugs not only to plague you with fake or misleading content, but also to escape from the strictures of your browser, spy on other browser tabs, read files off your hard disk that they weren’t even supposed to know about, and implant malware on your computer.

In July 2017, the company finally and formally admitted that it had had enough and that the technology was entering a phase known by the rather doom-laden jargon term EOL, short for End Of Life. Specifically, Adobe will stop updating and distributing Flash Player at the end of 2020 and encourage content creators to migrate any existing Flash content to new open formats.

So, what does this all mean?

At the end of January 2021, powersolution will ensure that Microsoft patch KB4577586 is installed on eligible computers. powersolution will also be creating and remotely running a script that detects and removes Flash from managed systems.

Various key dates and information from the Microsoft and major browser vendors is below.

Microsoft Windows

Update KB4577586, entitled Update for the removal of Adobe Flash Player: October 27, 2020, “will remove Adobe Flash Player from your Windows device. After this update has been applied,” the KB article goes on to say, “this update cannot be uninstalled.” (Microsoft’s boldface emphasis.). Note – Windows 7 is no longer supported by Microsoft and thus will not receive this update.

Microsoft Edge

Microsoft indicates that Flash will be permanently disabled in the Edge browser in January 2021.

Google Chrome

Chrome version 88+, estimated to ship January 2021 will permanently disable Flash.

Mozilla Firefox

Firefox version 85+, estimated to ship January 26, 2021, will ship without Flash support. Even if you install an older version of Firefox, the Flash plugin itself will stop loading Flash content after January 12, 2021.

If there are any questions or concerns related to the end of life of Adobe Flash, please do not hesitate to reach out for a further discussion.

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