Adobe has warned users that a critical flaw exists in its Flash, Adobe Reader, and Adobe Acrobat software, and it affects every single platform—Mac, Windows, Linux, Solaris, you name it. Should a “hacker” exploit the flaw, he or she could take control of your entire system. Not to defer to Apple‘s wisdom, but do you really want such a flaky piece of software running on your iPhone or iPad?
A work-around does exist, and that’s to download the newest beta of Flash player 10.1, which Adobe claims “does not appear to be vulnerable.”
That’s the problem with closed-source software: Adobe can sit there all day and say, “Don’t worry, folks, there’s nothing wrong with the newest version of Flash, so go ahead and download that” and you have to take them at their word; there’s no way to independently look at the code yourself. When you’ve got a community of like-minded coders on patrol, it’s a heck of a lot easier to find and fix potential software bugs. As it stands, we’re at Adobe’s mercy here.
Hopefully such high-profile incidents convince folks to either phase out their dependence on Flash or simultaneously develop HTML5-based solutions, for lack of a better world. The very idea that the Web “depends” on such closed-source software should frighten you.