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Old Oct 24, 2013, 08:06 AM   #1
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Adobe Flash Player Now Sandboxed in Safari on OS X Mavericks




Software maker Adobe has announced on its blog (via ZDNet) that its Flash Player software is now sandboxed for the version of Safari found in OS X Mavericks, preventing malware targeting Flash from accessing sensitive data and system resources beyond Apple's browser. As described by Apple, sandboxing "provides a last line of defense against the theft, corruption, or deletion of user data" if a malicious attempt is made at exploiting an app.
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For the technically minded, this means that there is a specific com.macromedia.Flash Player.plugin.sb file defining the security permissions for Flash Player when it runs within the sandboxed plugin process. As you might expect, Flash Player's capabilities to read and write files will be limited to only those locations it needs to function properly. The sandbox also limits Flash Player's local connections to device resources and inter-process communication (IPC) channels. Finally, the sandbox limits Flash Player's networking privileges to prevent unnecessary connection capabilities.
Flash is a common target for malware and a number of such attacks have affected Mac users, including a trojan named Flashback that began as a fake Flash Player installer before returning with a multi-pronged infection strategy as it infected over 600,000 Macs worldwide. This past February, Adobe also released a Flash Player update to address a pair of security vulnerabilties as Apple updated its Xprotect anti-malware system to enforce new minimum version requirements, blocking all previous versions of Flash Player.

OS X Mavericks is available as a free, one-step update for all Mac users running OS X Snow Leopard and above, available on the Mac App Store. [Direct Link]

Article Link: Adobe Flash Player Now Sandboxed in Safari on OS X Mavericks
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Old Oct 24, 2013, 08:07 AM   #2
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In light of the issues with Chrome in 10.9, i'm tempted to install flash and test.
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Old Oct 24, 2013, 08:13 AM   #3
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From Apple's website:
"More sandboxed apps
Sandboxing extends to more apps, including the Mac App Store, Messages, Calendar, Contacts, Photo Booth, Dictionary, and Font Book.

Sandboxed plug-ins
Adobe Flash Player, Silverlight, QuickTime, and Oracle Java plug-ins are sandboxed in Safari."
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Old Oct 24, 2013, 08:14 AM   #4
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Adobe Flash, something everyone wishes would go away but unfortunately is an necessary evil.
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Old Oct 24, 2013, 08:15 AM   #5
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So does this mean that I have no longer to install a system-wide Flash to have it enabled in Safari? Like in Chrome? That means I can uninstall Chrome and use Safari for everything, if that's correct.
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Old Oct 24, 2013, 08:15 AM   #6
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Not relevant to this particular article but... the push notification for this was truncated mid-word. Was this intentional?
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Old Oct 24, 2013, 08:16 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michaelgtrusa View Post
In light of the issues with Chrome in 10.9, i'm tempted to install flash and test.
I'm using Google Chrome in 10.9. Can you tell me what these problems are?
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Old Oct 24, 2013, 08:20 AM   #8
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This may be the central reason why the strategy of a "free, one-step update for all Mac users running OS X Snow Leopard and above", was used. This seems to be a way to get a super-security update to as many Mac users as possible including legacy systems.

As a very strong supporter of legacy system support, this is an unexpected and welcome effort by Apple to bring legacy hardware into the present. I am sure they have financial expectations as well with in-app purchases, app store, etc, but those are only optional benefits. The baseline benefits are free to all.

Hmmm.

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Old Oct 24, 2013, 08:28 AM   #9
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persistent cookies

I guess it's too much to hope that the sandbox settings prevent Flash from writing its super-persistent cookies.
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Old Oct 24, 2013, 08:31 AM   #10
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Definitely a good move in my opinion. A better move would be for developers to transition once and for all to HTML5 and drop the flash trash.
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Old Oct 24, 2013, 08:31 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocketman View Post
This may be the central reason why the strategy of a "free, one-step update for all Mac users running OS X Snow Leopard and above", was used. This seems to be a way to get a super-security update to as many Mac users as possible including legacy systems.

As a very strong supporter of legacy system support, this is an unexpected and welcome effort by Apple to bring legacy hardware into the present. I am sure they have financial expectations as well with in-app purchases, app store, etc, but those are only optional benefits. The baseline benefits are free to all.

Hmmm.

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If Apple is so concerned about legacy systems, why is my 2006 Mac Pro excluded from Mavericks support???
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Old Oct 24, 2013, 08:31 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Battlefield 2 View Post
Adobe Flash, something everyone wishes would go away but unfortunately is an necessary evil.
Respectfully, the minute people stop believing that, it will go away. I only say that because I haven't had Flash installed for several years now, and this is my daily use system.

I get there may be some corner cases... Yes I know people need to do there job and corporate (or powers that be) haven't migrated yet. I'm stuck in that situation with Java right now. As soon as my employer migrates away from Java (should be Q1 2014) my hassle free days of using the inter webs will begin.

I'm just sayin'...
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Old Oct 24, 2013, 08:49 AM   #13
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OS X Mavericks is available as a free, one-step update for all Mac users running OS X Snow Leopard and above, available on the Mac App Store.
A lot of media outlets are reporting Mavericks availability in those terms. It's like saying "iOS 7 is available to anyone running iOS 5 and above". Total nonsense. OS X Mavericks is available to anyone who has a Mac that is capable of running it. It doesn't matter what version of OS X you've got at the moment.

My ancient white MacBook I bought in 2006 won't run it, despite the fact it's got Snow Leopard on it and my Mac Pro 1,1 bought in 2007 won't run it either despite the fact I've got Lion on it at the moment. Both machines are incapable of running Mavericks so it's the hardware that dictates what you can run, not what version of OS X you've got at the moment.

Do you think I over-reacted? Perhaps I should get out more?
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Old Oct 24, 2013, 08:49 AM   #14
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WHAT A LOAD OF BULL!

When you go and install Flash Player from the Adobe website:

Quote:
Optional offer:

Yes, I want to try the free Lightroom 5 trial and learn how to make good shots great. Add to my download.


No thank you. I'm a Creative Cloud subscriber already.

Awesome on the sandboxing though!
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Old Oct 24, 2013, 08:59 AM   #15
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A complete noob question but: can I still drag *.swf files from Finder into a Safari window and have it run?
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Old Oct 24, 2013, 09:32 AM   #16
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A complete noob question but: can I still drag *.swf files from Finder into a Safari window and have it run?
I don't see how this would affect that capability. It just means that the .swf you drag in there will be running in a sandbox with limited access to the 'outside' as described.
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Old Oct 24, 2013, 09:39 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by eoblaed View Post
I don't see how this would affect that capability. It just means that the .swf you drag in there will be running in a sandbox with limited access to the 'outside' as described.
Oh I see -- this doesn't limit what flash files can be run, just what those files can do when running. Got it, thank you!
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Old Oct 24, 2013, 10:06 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Battlefield 2 View Post
Adobe Flash, something everyone wishes would go away but unfortunately is an necessary evil.
I haven't needed it in over year thanks to turning up an installer for the Hulu Desktop beta software. I rather wish they could bring it back and Netflix would follow suit.
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Old Oct 24, 2013, 10:21 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by benthewraith View Post
I'm using Google Chrome in 10.9. Can you tell me what these problems are?
I want to know too, I'm using Chrome without any noticeable problems
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Old Oct 24, 2013, 10:22 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by benthewraith View Post
I'm using Google Chrome in 10.9. Can you tell me what these problems are?
Some processes are not responding using more memory.
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Old Oct 24, 2013, 10:25 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by lewisd25 View Post
If Apple is so concerned about legacy systems, why is my 2006 Mac Pro excluded from Mavericks support???
Because you adopted trailing edge technology? Just kidding! Obviously they had to draw a line somewhere for hardware capability and OS level. They didn't support my Tiger system, or even do a security and Java update for it as I think they should.

I suspect we will see an entire thread of folks proving Mavericks runs just fine on "unsupported" systems.

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Old Oct 24, 2013, 10:25 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by AJClayton View Post
It doesn't matter what version of OS X you've got at the moment.

My ancient white MacBook I bought in 2006 won't run it, despite the fact it's got Snow Leopard on it and my Mac Pro 1,1 bought in 2007 won't run it either despite the fact I've got Lion on it at the moment. Both machines are incapable of running Mavericks so it's the hardware that dictates what you can run, not what version of OS X you've got at the moment.

Do you think I over-reacted? Perhaps I should get out more?
Actually, I think it does matter what version of OS X you've got. There was no App Store prior to Snow Leopard. I learned this the hard way trying to upgrade someone to Lion and couldn't. Ironically, by that point I couldn't buy a copy of Snow Leopard at the Apple store I went to.

And BTW, I have an ancient white MacBook from 2006 also. I don't think of it as that 'ancient', but it is getting a little dated. Given the relatively static processing demands web browsing and text editing place on a computer, I can hardly say it will ever be truly outdated. My i7 Ive Bridge Mac Mini is faster, but I wouldn't say it's a game changer. That said, what argument will any of us have in six years from now to say that a 2013 Mac is 'ancient'? 4k display graphics capabilities would seem to be the final hurdle and I'm not sure what more is after that. Smaller?
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Old Oct 24, 2013, 10:27 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by lewisd25 View Post
If Apple is so concerned about legacy systems, why is my 2006 Mac Pro excluded from Mavericks support???
Because it only has a 32bit boot ROM and thus cannot work a 64bit system. The ROM is also too small for the 64bit version to be installed.
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Old Oct 24, 2013, 10:30 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Michaelgtrusa View Post
In light of the issues with Chrome in 10.9, i'm tempted to install flash and test.
Chrome and occasional Chrome Canary user here.

Go on...
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Old Oct 24, 2013, 10:45 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by spatlese44 View Post
That said, what argument will any of us have in six years from now to say that a 2013 Mac is 'ancient'?
For me, when it becomes insufficient for web browsing. However, the increasing complexity of websites has tapered off in recent years in part due to better hardware, but also due to the massive improvements in efficiency that modern web browsers have made. If I can't at least use it as a quick internet kiosk, it's usefulness is limited for me.

That being said, my 1st gen MacBook Air was insufficient to browse the web in 2008, so maybe it isn't the best indicator of obsolescence.
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