You will hear a lot of reasons why people do not like the Flash platform. Most of the reasons stated are due to third party developers implementing the technology in a poor manner. But the one thing that the Flash platform is guilty of, in my opinion, is security issues. There have been plenty of problems reported when it came to security due to Flash. And that is what this article is about. I do not hate Flash as a platform but I believe there are some things that the creators of the technology can do to make the program safer.
The problems with Flash
Of course as I said earlier in the article there are people who would name a bunch of different things that are wrong with Flash. But the main problem with Flash when it comes to security is that its runtime over the years has gotten more and more powerful. You might be asking yourself right now what is a run time? When Flash was presented to the public many years ago it was just a way to make vector animation on a browser. You would be able to easily make different objects fly around on the screen. At the time this was considered revolutionary. But to be able to pull this off you would need a plugin in to the browser. This plugin is known as a run time. It is the engine that makes the Flash animation move. That is why for the most part the Flash does not play outside of the player. The player is the housing for the run time and that is needed to be able to do all of the neat things that Flash does.
The problem started when at the time Macromedia, but now Adobe, decided that Flash could become a powerful platform. They wanted to give the developers of Flash the ability to be able to do more than just animation. They wanted the developers to be able to create fully fledged applications with the Flash run time. So to do this they gave it a scripting language. They also gave the run time a lot more abilities than it had before. Before where you could only just create animation, now you could access the files on a local computer, send input/output calls to other web servers, play video, and a host of other things. The creators of Flash could now tempt real developers from competing languages like Java, PHP, C# and others to come over to their platform.
While Flash has gotten better on the security front, there is still a long way to go before the problem is considered solved. Some of the major holes in browsers even today is through the Flash run time. So, if you are running a network at a business, it might be a good idea to disallow Flash. Even though 99% of the time it is safe it might be better to be safe than sorry.