Following Adobe's release of a "critical" update for Flash Player yesterday to address a security issue that is currently being exploited in the wild, Apple has updated its "Xprotect" anti-malware system to disable older versions of the plug-in. The move forces users to upgrade to the latest version of Flash if they wish to continue using the still-common media plug-in.

xprotect_flash_12_0_0_44

Updated Xprotect definitions requiring new 12.0.0.44 version of Flash Player

Apple's Xprotect for OS X was introduced as part of OS X Snow Leopard in 2009 as a rudimentary anti-malware system that allowed Apple to block installation and running of the relatively rare cases of known malware targeting Mac systems. By 2011, Apple had upgraded the system to allow users' Macs to automatically check for updated definitions every 24 hours, ensuring up-to-date protection.

While primarily targeted specifically at malware protection, the Xprotect system also allows Apple to enforce minimum versions of plug-ins such as Flash and Java, and the company has on occasion blocked older versions of both of these plug-ins to ensure that users upgrade their systems.

Apple's use of the Xprotect system has, however, declined in recent months, perhaps signaling a slowdown in malware and other security issues affecting Mac systems. The most recent significant update to Xprotect definitions prior to yesterday came in mid-September to address the OSX/Leverage.A malware.

Top Rated Comments

proline Avatar
136 months ago
Before anyone starts going on about how Orwellian Xprotect is and that they have a God-given right to run flawed Adobe plug-ins, this ONLY AFFECTS SAFARI. So you are 'free' to download any other browser and run vulnerable software if keeping your pants down is your thing.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
musika Avatar
136 months ago
I haven't had Flash installed on a Mac since 2011. I'm better off without it.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iapplelove Avatar
136 months ago
I don't use it much anymore so yesterday instead of updating I uninstalled.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MacDude21 Avatar
136 months ago
Flash needs to go. It's holding us back: HTML 5 is the future.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
musika Avatar
136 months ago
Can you tell me what else (player) to use in Safari? Most of sites uses Flash, example - the NY Times videos. :confused:
How do you watch YouTube? If I don't install Flash, I can't watch YouTube using HTML5. So I simply use Click2Flash and then watch HTML5, then load flash as I need it.

As I recall, when I removed Flash, even with AdBlock on, I got more clutter on websites, where flash ads were.

So if you can tell me how to solve my issues above, I'll remove Flash too.
I turned on the "Develop" menu in Safari preferences, so anytime I see a site with video that won't play, I change my user agent to iPad. I know it's annoying, but it's worth it for me.

Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
smithrh Avatar
136 months ago
Yeah, unfortunately Adobe Flash is still widely used on major websites like YouTube, and while they have an HTML5 version it's terrible, because the vast majority of the videos don't work & I find any videos that have ads running will not run.

I have yet to find a single video on YouTube that was missing an HTML5 version.

Period.

Quality is just as good.

Not sure what to tell you, check your extensions, reset Safari, but I've not watched a Flash-based video on YouTube for a very long time now.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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