Last week, we reported that Android will be withdrawing Flash support on the upcoming Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update and in future versions of the OS. For those wondering how this might affect their Android devices, one security expert says that he doesn’t see it having any significant impact on Android security.
Speaking with PC World, Kasperky Labs malware researcher Tim Armstrong says that the Flash Player never caused issues for Android security because it was not common for hackers to use it as a way to gain access to Android. “There hasn’t been a piece of malware using the Flash Player technology as a vector,” Armstrong says.
Jelly Bean updates are expected to roll out this July and users that choose to upgrade their phones will effectively lose access to Flash. However, this is not expected to have a significant impact on Android users at the moment because 90% of users are still running earlier versions such as 2.1 to 2.3.7. Once these users finally upgrade to Jelly Bean, Flash alternatives are expected to have already taken root. But then, the question now is will these new non-Flash apps then be a cause of concern for Android security? Armstrong believes that it’s too early to tell. “We can’t say whether these technologies could be leveraged for malicious purposes,” he explains.
Adobe has already begun to limit access to the Flash Player on Android’s official app store, Google Play. According to an announcement from Adobe, only phones already running Flash will be able to get newer versions in the store starting August 15. “Devices that do not have Flash Player already installed are increasingly likely to be incompatible with Flash Player and will no longer be able to install if from the Google Play Store,” Adobe posted on their official blog.
Do you think the benefits promised by the Jelly Bean upgrade is enough for you to let go of Flash early? Rae your worried about potential Android security issues Flash alternatives might pose? Share your thoughts in the comments below!