Facebook Chief Security Officer Calls for Adobe Flash Kill Date

Adobe Systems Inc.’s Flash language for Web design has been dying for years. Facebook Inc.’s chief security officer wants a kill date.

The legacy websites that are still using Flash, entangled with newer types of coding, are causing security issues for the Web at large, Facebook’s Alex Stamos said. Yet some developers don’t have enough motivation to upgrade their sites because they expect Adobe to support Flash forever, he said.

“It is time for Adobe to announce the end-of-life date for Flash,” Stamos said on Twitter. “One set date is the only way to disentangle the dependencies and upgrade the whole ecosystem at once.”

Flash has fallen out of favor since 2010, when Apple Inc.’s Steve Jobs wrote an open letter about its technical drawbacks, barring Flash from the iPad and iPhone. At the time, Flash was used in 75 percent of online video; now HTML5 is the standard. Adobe said last week that it fixed some vulnerabilities with its video player that, if exploited, “could cause a crash and potentially allow an attacker to take control.” In January, Google Inc.’s YouTube started defaulting to HTML5 for videos instead of Flash.

Adobe representatives didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. Stamos is taking a public stance on the issue just weeks after joining Facebook from Yahoo! Inc.

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