The dangers of closed source code

An excerpt from an excellent blog post about the weaknesses of the flash player installed in every browser on every PC in the world – except for the ones who don’t watch Youtube, and how many is that again?

Snow Leopard and the forgotten Flash plugin.

Among all web browser plugins, Adobe Flash can be considered as one of the most vulnerable due to its security related problems it is having for many years. Security website Secunia.com reports 63 vulnerabilities discovered in the last Adobe Flash Player 10.x build since its release, most of them rated extremely and highly critical.

It doesn’t matter if you have OS X or Ubuntu. You might have rejected Windows because it greatest use is as target practice for hackers and malware. But as long as you use the internet to watch any videos online – especially the unmentionable kind – then you’re at risk. Why? Because Adobe chooses not to release the source code of its Flash player. In the best of all possible worlds, web users would migrate away from Adobe to open source software. Unfortunately our world does not lie in that category.

There will come a time when governments will realize the inherent security risks in building sensitive information delivery platforms around proprietary code. Just as there will come a time when global warming is no longer considered a hoax. Until then, say adieu to your online video diet if you truly care about online security, or cross your fingers, lean back and enjoy the show.

The fate of this world, it seems, is to lurch from catastrophe to catastrophe. So don’t forget your dramamine 😉

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