Are there any security implications for Mozilla possibly supporting the H.264 video codec in mobile versions of...
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
The new Trochilus RAT can avoid detection in cyberespionage attacks. Expert Nick Lewis explains how it works, and if enterprises need to adapt their ...continue reading
The Asacub Trojan has new banking malware features. Expert Nick Lewis explains how it made this transition and what enterprises should be watching ...continue reading
BlackEnergy malware may have been part of the attacks on Ukrainian utility and media companies. Expert Nick Lewis explains how this malware works and...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.