Adobe’s Flash Player plugin is among the most attacked pieces of software on the Internet today. While Adobe rapidly moves to fix urgent flaws as they emerge, they have also been moving towards a sandboxing approach that mitigates the risk of any potential flaws in Flash. After first appearing in Google’s Chrome browser, the Flash sandbox is now on its way to Mozilla’s Firefox.
The new Flash Player sandbox for Firefox is currently in a public beta and it aims to go beyond the process protections that Mozilla already affords to plugins.
Wiebke Lips, Senior Manager of Corporate Communications at Adobe, explained to InternetNews.com that Firefox today runs Flash Player and several other plugins in a separate process called plugin-container.exe.
“By running plugins in a separate process, Firefox can ensure that a plugin crash does not crash the entire Web browser,” Lips said. “However, there are no security restrictions placed on the plugin process.”
Mozilla introduced the plugin-container executable as part of an effort known as “out-of-process plugin support” in June 2010, with the Firefox 3.6.4 release.
In contrast to Mozilla’s own out-of-process plugin system, the Adobe sandbox goes a step further to provide an additional layer of protection.