Jul 25, 2018

Ron Wyden urges agencies to prepare for demise of Adobe Flash

A warning message from 2015 when the Firefox web browser blocked Flash for security reasons. Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) sent a letter to the heads of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the Department of Homeland Security, the NSA and Cyber Command to ensure the U.S. is prepared for the end of Adobe Flash.

Why it matters: Adobe will no longer support Flash or create security updates in 2020. The ubiquitous multimedia program fell out of favor over the past five years due to its history of security problems, meaning many of the nation's critical computers might have a problematic legacy program installed with never-to-be-fixed security issues.

What Wyden is saying: "The federal government has too often failed to promptly transition away from software that has been decommissioned," Wyden wrote in the letter, later adding, "The U.S. government should begin transitioning away from Flash immediately, before it is orphaned in 2020."

Be smart: Flash is among the most influential software programs of all time. It was an early, multi-platform way to bring interactivity and multimedia to the web, and critical in the development of sites like YouTube.

  • You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.

Wyden suggests all agencies cease adding Flash content to websites within 60 days, to remove such content by August 2019, and to completely uninstall Flash by next August as well to avoid even greater problems down the road.

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U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. This graphic includes "probable deaths" that New York City began reporting on April 14.

House Democrats asked Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue for more information Thursday on how the agency chose which companies to award $1.2 billion in food assistance contracts.

By the numbers: More than 98,400 people have died from COVID-19 and over 1.6 million have tested positive in the U.S. Over 379,100 Americans have recovered and more than 14.6 million tests have been conducted.

Pentagon watchdog sidelined by Trump resigns

Fine testiying before the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2017. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Glenn Fine, the Pentagon's principal deputy inspector general, submitted his resignation on Tuesday.

Why it matters: President Trump removed Fine as the Pentagon's acting inspector general in April 7 after a group of independent federal watchdogs selected him to lead the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee, which was set up to oversee the rollout of the $2 trillion coronavirus relief bill.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2:30 p.m. ET: 5,547,523 — Total deaths: 348,040 — Total recoveries — 2,269,422Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 2:30 p.m. ET: 1,671,728 — Total deaths: 98,493 — Total recoveries: 379,157 — Total tested: 14,604,942Map.
  3. Trump administration: Mike Pence's press secretary returns to work.
  4. States: New York reports lowest number of new coronavirus deaths since March.
  5. Public health: The final data for remdesivir is in, and its benefits are rather limited.
  6. Space: How to virtually watch SpaceX's historic crewed launch.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 22 mins ago - Politics & Policy