Macromedia Flash Player

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by Peter, Oct 12, 2003.

  1. Peter

    Peter Guest

    I am wanting to take issue with the operator of a web site that
    requires Flash Player to access even the menu buttons on the home page
    (I can just tolerate www.nzoom.com as while it needs the plugin, you
    can at least use the site without it). I personally refuse to install
    the product for security reasons. Could anyone please give an
    indication of the likely proportion of users who have this installed
    and the whether corporates as a rule allow it to be installed on their
    internal networks.

    Thanks
     
    Peter, Oct 12, 2003
    #1
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  2. Peter

    Kookaburra Guest

    On Sun, 12 Oct 2003 22:49:04 GMT, (Peter)
    wrote:

    >I am wanting to take issue with the operator of a web site that
    >requires Flash Player to access even the menu buttons on the home page
    >(I can just tolerate www.nzoom.com as while it needs the plugin, you
    >can at least use the site without it). I personally refuse to install
    >the product for security reasons. Could anyone please give an
    >indication of the likely proportion of users who have this installed
    >and the whether corporates as a rule allow it to be installed on their
    >internal networks.
    >
    >Thanks


    I have Flash Player installed on my personal computer. The Paradise
    Net home page gives you a choice of Non-Flash or Flash.

    http://www.paradise.net.nz/

    Cheers, Kooky
     
    Kookaburra, Oct 13, 2003
    #2
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  3. Peter

    max Guest

    On Sun, 12 Oct 2003 22:49:04 GMT, (Peter)
    wrote:

    >I am wanting to take issue with the operator of a web site that
    >requires Flash Player to access even the menu buttons on the home page
    >(I can just tolerate www.nzoom.com as while it needs the plugin, you
    >can at least use the site without it). I personally refuse to install
    >the product for security reasons. Could anyone please give an
    >indication of the likely proportion of users who have this installed
    >and the whether corporates as a rule allow it to be installed on their
    >internal networks.
    >
    >Thanks


    What are the security reasons?
     
    max, Oct 13, 2003
    #3
  4. Peter

    T.N.O. Guest

    "Peter" wrote
    > Could anyone please give an
    > indication of the likely proportion of users who have this installed
    > and the whether corporates as a rule allow it to be installed on their
    > internal networks.


    all my mates have it installed, but at work we have ~1500 machines without
    it, and it has only been installed for a few that need it for medical
    websites.
     
    T.N.O., Oct 13, 2003
    #4
  5. Peter

    Lebowski Guest

    "max" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > On Sun, 12 Oct 2003 22:49:04 GMT, (Peter)
    > wrote:
    >
    > >I am wanting to take issue with the operator of a web site that
    > >requires Flash Player to access even the menu buttons on the home page
    > >(I can just tolerate www.nzoom.com as while it needs the plugin, you
    > >can at least use the site without it). I personally refuse to install
    > >the product for security reasons. Could anyone please give an
    > >indication of the likely proportion of users who have this installed
    > >and the whether corporates as a rule allow it to be installed on their
    > >internal networks.
    > >
    > >Thanks

    >
    > What are the security reasons?


    Yeah sounds like paranoia over a harmless little plugin. I guess you also
    don't have Shockwave Flash Player eitther - missing out on such cool games
    as Curveball, Miniputt and the George Bush Speechmaker, not to mention the
    Michael Jackson Makeup Kit :)

    There are the "allow / deny" settings in Macromedia Flash Player. Are they
    something that can be potentially exploited, something to be genuinely
    concerned about?
     
    Lebowski, Oct 13, 2003
    #5
  6. Peter

    Peter Guest

    On Mon, 13 Oct 2003 13:23:19 +1300, "T.N.O." <> wrote:

    >
    >all my mates have it installed, but at work we have ~1500 machines without
    >it, and it has only been installed for a few that need it for medical
    >websites.
    >

    Thanks, that is 1500 reasons for starters for not using it on general
    puropse web sites.
     
    Peter, Oct 13, 2003
    #6
  7. Peter

    Peter Guest

    On Mon, 13 Oct 2003 14:08:38 +1300, "Lebowski"
    <> wrote:


    >Yeah sounds like paranoia over a harmless little plugin. I guess you also
    >don't have Shockwave Flash Player eitther - missing out on such cool games
    >as Curveball, Miniputt and the George Bush Speechmaker, not to mention the
    >Michael Jackson Makeup Kit :)


    Yes, OK if you are into heavy games. However I see no reason for run
    of the mill web sites to expect users to have it installed.

    Yes, I am paranoid about anything that can put my computing at
    unnecessary risk. I do not have time or inclination to research its
    safety, nor to clean up the mess if any hole is created.
     
    Peter, Oct 13, 2003
    #7
  8. Peter

    techie Guest

    On Sun, 12 Oct 2003 19:19:26 -0500, max wrote:

    > On Sun, 12 Oct 2003 22:49:04 GMT, (Peter)
    > wrote:
    >
    >>I am wanting to take issue with the operator of a web site that
    >>requires Flash Player to access even the menu buttons on the home page
    >>(I can just tolerate www.nzoom.com as while it needs the plugin, you
    >>can at least use the site without it). I personally refuse to install
    >>the product for security reasons. Could anyone please give an
    >>indication of the likely proportion of users who have this installed
    >>and the whether corporates as a rule allow it to be installed on their
    >>internal networks.
    >>
    >>Thanks

    >
    > What are the security reasons?



    For a start, when you view a Flash movie, Flash communicates with
    Macromedia for the purposes of piracy prevention. This same
    communication could also be used to gather info on which Flash
    movies you watched and for how long.

    Several spyware products, including RedSheriff, have been able to
    take advantage of past vulnerabilities in Flash:

    <http://www.comoxvalleysupport.com/cvcs/news.shtml>

    Flash Vulnerability Discovered -- Posted on Thursday,
    December 19 2002

    A flaw found in Macromedia's animation software leaves Web
    surfers vulnerable to attack when they visit an Internet site
    or, possibly, open an e-mail, a security firm says.

    The vulnerability, found by security firm eEye Digital
    Security, allows an attacker to create a hand-edited
    Macromedia Flash, or SWF, file that can compromise a PC or
    Macintosh if its user views the file with the Shockwave Flash
    Player plug-in for Internet Explorer, Netscape or other
    browsers. The flaw affects the Flash plug-in for browsers on
    Windows, Unix, Linux and the Macintosh.

    Now, combine that with this from the MacroMedia website:

    <http://www.macromedia.com/support/flashplayer/help/privacy/>

    What are privacy settings?

    Applications that are created using Macromedia Flash may want
    to have access to the camera and/or microphone available on
    your computer. Privacy settings let you specify whether you
    want applications from a particular website to have such
    access. Note that it is the person or company that has created
    the application you are using that is requesting such access,
    not Macromedia (unless Macromedia has created the application
    that wants access to your camera or microphone). In the dialog
    box shown above, [website] represents the name of the person or
    company requesting access.

    It is the responsibility of the person or company requesting
    access to make it clear to you why they want access and how
    they plan to use the audio or video. You should be aware of the
    privacy policy of anyone who is requesting audio or video
    access. For example, Macromedia's privacy policy is posted at
    http://www.macromedia.com/go/privacy. Contact the website
    requesting access for information on their privacy policy.

    It's important to understand that even though this settings
    panel is part of the Macromedia Flash Player, the audio and
    video will be used by an application created by a third party.
    Macromedia assumes no responsibility for third party privacy
    policies, actions of third party companies in capturing audio
    or video on your computer, or such companies' use of such data
    or information.


    If that still doesn't bother you, go to google and type in:

    +macromedia +flash +security

    And read away.

    --
    ____ ___ _______ ____ ___
    / __/______ ___ / _ )/ __/ _ \ / __/ < / http://www.FreeBSD.org
    / _// __/ -_) -_) _ |\ \/ // / /__ \_ / / <-- kewl figlet sig!
    /_/ /_/ \__/\__/____/___/____/ /____(_)_/ http://www.figlet.org
     
    techie, Oct 13, 2003
    #8
  9. Peter

    techie Guest

    On Sun, 12 Oct 2003 17:49:04 -0500, Peter wrote:

    > I am wanting to take issue with the operator of a web site that requires
    > Flash Player to access even the menu buttons on the home page (I can
    > just tolerate www.nzoom.com as while it needs the plugin, you can at
    > least use the site without it). I personally refuse to install the
    > product for security reasons. Could anyone please give an indication of
    > the likely proportion of users who have this installed and the whether
    > corporates as a rule allow it to be installed on their internal
    > networks.


    I won't use Flash myself. Part of it is security and privacy concerns,
    probably the same ones you have. The other part is philosophical - I
    just don't want to encourage proprietary standards for displaying
    information on the Web. Oh, and I also don't much care for having my
    bandwidth and screen space wasted on obnoxious advertising, which seems
    to be what Flash is used for 99% of the time.

    I'm rooting for Ogg Vorbis to replace RealAudio (which I also won't have
    on my system) but I'm not rooting for anything to replace Flash, because
    Flash is a PITA solution to a problem that doesn't exist in the first
    place.


    --
    ____ ___ _______ ____ ___
    / __/______ ___ / _ )/ __/ _ \ / __/ < / http://www.FreeBSD.org
    / _// __/ -_) -_) _ |\ \/ // / /__ \_ / / <-- kewl figlet sig!
    /_/ /_/ \__/\__/____/___/____/ /____(_)_/ http://www.figlet.org
     
    techie, Oct 13, 2003
    #9
  10. techie wrote:
    > For a start, when you view a Flash movie, Flash communicates with
    > Macromedia for the purposes of piracy prevention.


    How can you pirate a free plugin??

    Cheers,
    Nicholas Sherlock
     
    Nicholas Sherlock, Oct 13, 2003
    #10
  11. Peter

    Enkidu Guest

    On Mon, 13 Oct 2003 14:08:38 +1300, "Lebowski"
    <> wrote:
    >>
    >> What are the security reasons?

    >
    >Yeah sounds like paranoia over a harmless little plugin. I guess you also
    >don't have Shockwave Flash Player eitther - missing out on such cool games
    >as Curveball, Miniputt and the George Bush Speechmaker, not to mention the
    >Michael Jackson Makeup Kit :)
    >

    I don't have either installed. As far as I can tell the reason that
    Web "Designers" use Flash and Shockwave is to say "Look how clever I
    am!". Thank you, but no! If a site wants me to load Flash or Shockwave
    I go soemwhere else. Why should I feed someone's ego?

    "Michael Jackson Makeup Kit"??? Is there a real game called that?

    I guess I might be missing some deep irony here.....

    Cheers,

    Cliff
    --

    The complete lack of evidence is the surest sign
    that the conspiracy is working.
     
    Enkidu, Oct 13, 2003
    #11
  12. Peter

    Mainlander Guest

    In article <>,
    says...
    > I am wanting to take issue with the operator of a web site that
    > requires Flash Player to access even the menu buttons on the home page
    > (I can just tolerate www.nzoom.com as while it needs the plugin, you
    > can at least use the site without it). I personally refuse to install
    > the product for security reasons. Could anyone please give an
    > indication of the likely proportion of users who have this installed
    > and the whether corporates as a rule allow it to be installed on their
    > internal networks.


    Paradise's web site doesn't require flash, it has text links along the
    bottom.
     
    Mainlander, Oct 13, 2003
    #12
  13. Peter

    Ralph Fox Guest

    On Mon, 13 Oct 2003 20:01:11 +1300, in article
    <>, Mainlander wrote:

    > In article <>,
    > says...
    > > I am wanting to take issue with the operator of a web site that
    > > requires Flash Player to access even the menu buttons on the home page

    --snip--
    >
    > Paradise's web site doesn't require flash, it has text links along the
    > bottom.


    The OP didn't name Paradise. I'd be a little surprised if the OP was
    referring to Paradise.

    I've just been trying Paradise's home page (again), and the OP's
    description, "requires Flash Player to access even the menu buttons
    on the home page", does not apply to Paradise's home page.

    And back in the days when Paradise's home page did have an extensive
    flash component, if one did not have the flash plug-in installed then
    a non-flash version of the home page was automagically displayed instead.
    In other words, http://www.paradise.net.nz/ automatically detected
    whether one had flash installed or not and loaded the appropriate page.


    --
    Cheers,
    Ralph

    "There is only one boss, the customer. And he can fire everybody in
    the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money
    somewhere else." -- Sam Walton
     
    Ralph Fox, Oct 13, 2003
    #13
  14. Peter

    Peter Guest

    On Mon, 13 Oct 2003 20:01:11 +1300, Mainlander <*@*.*> wrote:

    >
    >Paradise's web site doesn't require flash, it has text links along the
    >bottom.

    Thanks for comments so far from all contributors. Your responses have
    confirmed my suspicions. I am taking issue with a certain web site
    and I have suggested that they at least put text links in like you
    described. I am also checking with a friend who has a 'locked down'
    W2000 laptop to see if he can access the site (he also has cause to
    use the site in question).
     
    Peter, Oct 13, 2003
    #14
  15. Peter

    techie Guest

    On Sun, 12 Oct 2003 21:54:42 -0500, Nicholas Sherlock wrote:

    > techie wrote:
    >> For a start, when you view a Flash movie, Flash communicates with
    >> Macromedia for the purposes of piracy prevention.

    >
    > How can you pirate a free plugin??


    Macromedia content-design software embeds its registered user's GUID in
    the flash file. The plugin extracts an encoded version of this and sends
    it to Macromedia, along with the file's URL. If the decoded GUID doesn't
    match up with their list of registered users then they also know exactly
    which website has the illegal file.

    So the plugin is a backdoor into your computer.

    --
    ____ ___ _______ ____ ___
    / __/______ ___ / _ )/ __/ _ \ / __/ < / http://www.FreeBSD.org
    / _// __/ -_) -_) _ |\ \/ // / /__ \_ / / <-- kewl figlet sig!
    /_/ /_/ \__/\__/____/___/____/ /____(_)_/ http://www.figlet.org
     
    techie, Oct 13, 2003
    #15
  16. Peter

    Bob McLellan Guest

    Hear hear. Flash is supposed to enhance a web site but is instead
    sometimes used as a locked door to prevent access. It is not a question
    of whether I want it installed, it is a question of web site design.

    Peter wrote:
    > I am wanting to take issue with the operator of a web site that
    > requires Flash Player to access even the menu buttons on the home page
    > (I can just tolerate www.nzoom.com as while it needs the plugin, you
    > can at least use the site without it). I personally refuse to install
    > the product for security reasons. Could anyone please give an
    > indication of the likely proportion of users who have this installed
    > and the whether corporates as a rule allow it to be installed on their
    > internal networks.
    >
    > Thanks
    >
     
    Bob McLellan, Oct 14, 2003
    #16
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