IE Sandbox Next for Flash Player

Monday, February 20, 2012 @ 07:02 PM gHale


Adobe plans to stay in the sandbox as it is ready to put Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (IE) in its protected zone for Flash Player.

Adobe already released a beta version of a sandboxed Flash Player plug-in for Mozilla’s Firefox on Windows Vista and Windows 7 as a follow-up to a similar initiative in 2010 for Google’s Chrome.

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“IE has a big chunk of the user base,” said Brad Arkin, Adobe senior director of security, products and services. “We want to do what protects the most users the fastest, so we’re looking at how we can tackle sandboxing in IE.”

IE accounted for 53% of all browsers used last month worldwide, or more than double Firefox’s 21% and almost triple Chrome’s 19%, according to Web metrics company Net Applications.

Arkin declined to set a timetable for putting Flash within a sandbox inside IE.

A sandbox isolates processes on the computer, preventing or at least hindering malware from letting hackers exploit an unpatched vulnerability, escalate privileges and push their attack code onto the machine.

Adobe first hit the sandbox for Flash Player for Chrome in late 2010 after working with Google engineers; the sandboxed plug-in for Firefox came after similar cooperation from Mozilla engineers.

Mozilla’s developers “did a lot of work” to help Adobe during the development of the sandboxed Flash plug-in, including modifying Firefox.

A similar process is taking place now with Microsoft. At a high level, constructing a sandboxed Flash plug-in for Firefox was similar to what Adobe had already done for Chrome.

Like the sandboxed Flash for Chrome, the beta plug-in for Firefox works only on Windows. Adobe has no plans to add sandboxing to the Flash Player plug-ins that run in Apple’s Safari or Opera Software’s Opera browsers.



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