Good news everyone (well, at least for Firefox users)!
You might be able to live without Flash in your favorite iDevice, but on the PC you're likely to still be relying on this platform, which unfortunately is heavily targeted by hackers. The Adobe Flash plugin already runs in a sandbox mode in Microsoft's Internet Explorer and Google's Chrome browsers, and soon it will get the same treatment in Mozilla's Firefox browser as Adobe announces the first public beta of its new Flash Player sandbox for Firefox.
Running the plugin in a sandbox, otherwise known as protected mode, will potentially reduce the seriousness of any code vulnerabilities by isolating it from the system.
'Sandboxing technology has proven very effective in protecting users by increasing the cost and complexity of authoring effective exploits,' said Peleus Uhley, senior security researcher for Adobe.
'For example, since its launch in November 2010, we have not seen a single successful exploit in the wild against Adobe Reader X. We hope to see similar results with the Flash Player sandbox for Firefox once the final version is released later this year.'
I've been using the plugin for a few hours, and while I can't claim to have tested it thoroughly, it seems to work well and seems quite stable. I wouldn't use it on a mission-critical system, but it's certainly safe for testing.
The beta plugin will work with Firefox 4.0 or later versions running on Windows 7 or Vista.