Are there any security implications for Mozilla possibly supporting the H.264 video codec in mobile versions of...
By submitting your personal information, you agree that TechTarget and its partners may contact you regarding relevant content, products and special offers.
Firefox? Does H.264 carry any of the same risks as Flash that attackers can exploit, or is it generally more secure?
Ask the expert!
Have questions about enterprise information security threats for expert Nick Lewis? Send them via email today! (All questions are anonymous.)
The risks stemming from Flash are fairly well known in the security community because the software is so widely used and evaluated, but most end users only want to watch videos, listen to music or play a game. How they go about performing those tasks largely doesn't matter to them. If they could do everything they do on Flash while having one less piece of software to maintain and update, there could be some benefit for security. The H.264 codec's security relies on securely implementing the software and users being able to securely use it.
In terms of H.264 vs. Flash from a security perspective, Mozilla's support of H.264 (or any video codec) increases the possibility that it will be more secure than Flash, which has matured past being used exclusively to watch videos. It now serves almost as an operating and programming environment. The H.264 video codec standard doesn't carry the burden of Flash's additional features, so hackers can't exploit those avenues of attack to abuse users. The H.264 codec can still be attacked, but it is potentially easier for browser makers like Mozilla to secure because it lacks some of the complexities of Flash. Also, H.264 isn't burdened by the legacy code of Flash, so its more secure software development life cycle may very lead to greater use as a more secure Flash alternative.
Dig Deeper on Web browser security
Related Q&A from Nick Lewis
Fileless malware hidden in server memory led to attacks on many companies worldwide. Expert Nick Lewis explains how these attacks fit in with the ...continue reading
Vulnerabilities in Java and Python have opened them up to possible FTP injections. Expert Nick Lewis explains how enterprises can mitigate these ...continue reading
Researchers have developed an ASLR Cache side-channel attack that enables them to eliminate ASLR protections. Expert Nick Lewis explains how ...continue reading
Have a question for an expert?
Please add a title for your question
Get answers from a TechTarget expert on whatever's puzzling you.