Uninstalling Android Flash Player is a security risk

On August 15th Android Flash Player (the latest release was v.11) was no longer available to download and install from the Google Play Store. However, If you use Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) which was pre-installed (Adobe certified) with the Adobe Flash Player on a mobile device or downloaded from the Google Play Store before August 15th, then your Flash Player will indeed work.

If you have recently upgraded to Android 4.1, the current version of Flash Player will not work properly. You should therefore uninstall Flash Player on devices that have been upgraded to Android 4.1. Note: Adobe will though continue to focus on enabling Flash in native apps with its AIR runtime for all the major app stores. Now, let’s take a look at the security risks.

The withdrawal of Flash Player from the Play Store, has since August 15th, provided cybercriminals the opportunity to create malware that masquerades as a Flash Player installer. Security vendors have seen a SMS Trojan (also comes with rogue adware which displays in the notification bar) apps (these are mainly in Russian but some are in English) packaged as Flash Player for Android, so it is best to be vigilant and not download and install Flash Player from a third-party or via an SMS or email link.

I therefore recommend that users DELETE Flash Player right now (see bootnote). A quick glance at the comments under Adobe Flash Player 11 on the Play Store you begin to hear about YouTube and videos not working in native and Chrome browsers. I’ve experienced this too. Regardless of the user problems mentioned above, it is still unwise to continue using Flash Player, given Adobe is no longer supporting it.

One expects to see developers writing mobile cross-platform dynamic Web functionality written in HTML5 and CSS3 over the coming months, so the need for Flash Player should hopefully become a thing of the past for mobile devices.

Safe surfing folks!

Bootnote: Adobe nor Google will be applying the kill switch to those devices continuing to use Android Flash Player.

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One Response to Uninstalling Android Flash Player is a security risk

  1. Alex says:

    Hi Julian
    Thanks for the post. I have unintentionally downloaded a flash player installer and now I get a ton of pop upseverytime I touch my phone. I tried putting the app in the garbage bin but its not letting me… how can i uninstall it with all the malware?

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