A journal that focuses on Flash Platform development, and a little bit about what I am up to on any given day.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Flash Player, A Trojan Horse

I was just going over these articles today on the MXNA:

http://www.pbs.org/cringely/pulpit/pulpit20050623.html

http://www.flashinsider.com/2005/06/24/i-cringlely-looks-at-the-future-of-flash/

which talks about the usual great advantages of owning the Flash Player, and John Dowdell's response:

http://www.markme.com/jd/archives/007956.cfm

Now in a way I would have to say that the first article is not as far off as it may seem. The Flash Player actually is a serious Trojan Horse and that can be leveraged in a big way in the future.

John states that it is Flash Player features that make it great and that is true, but there is a hidden little ability in the Flash Player since Flash Player 6 that not alot of people know about. That feature is:

var foo = new System.Product("AdobeVoipClient");
foo.download();

This feature is used to pull in Macromedia Central, Central Applications, and The Macromedia Breeze Player to the desktop. This feature is potentially a "Trojan Horse" if you will.

The original Blogger's argument actually has more legs to stand on than it seems. I am sure Acrobat and other technologies can easily pull down other applications or content, but the Flash Player is different.

Being a web player with a massive install base it means that applications can easily be pulled down, with little or no interuption and annoyance to the end user. Getting that content is as easy as having the code above execute in a swf file. The Flash Player also has an auto-update mechanism that is beautifully designed. Very unintrusive. These in combination create a recipie for instant ubiquity if the owners of the Flash Player were to leverage it for this purpose.

I would seem to think that Adobe would be interested in this. For example, it is likely that Acrobat could be pulled in through this mechanism in the future, or potentially any other web player that adobe comes up with.

Think of Adobe Atmosphere. What better way to get a brand new web player out, than proxying it's launch through the Flash Player. The Flash Player could recieve the call for content, download the needed player and run the content. Anytime after that the Flash Player could again, recieve the request and launch the content direct.

So in final, many people are not aware of this Flash Player feature, and Trojan Horse it actually is.

15 Comments:

Anonymous John Dowdell said...

For "What are some of the particulars and implications of the auto-update mechanism in the Macromedia Flash Player?" then base documentation is here:
http://www.macromedia.com/support/documentation/en/flashplayer/help/settings_manager05.html

Can other parties do this? Not within the Macromedia Flash Player, where only macromedia.com is a privileged domain. To install your own native code on Other Peoples Machines you would need to establish your own reputation with each audience member first.

"... it is likely that Acrobat could be pulled in through this mechanism in the future...."

I'm not sure I could picture a way that would actually work, in the long term. Do *you* see a way that a 25-megabyte background download would be acceptable to all the people in the world, week after week, month after month?

Matter of fact, Adobe Reader has had its own auto-update mechanism for quite awhile, yet updates still don't seem to spread as quickly as Flash's updates. Download size remains a critical constraint on acceptance rates.

"Think of Adobe Atmosphere. What better way to get a brand new web player out, than proxying it's launch through the Flash Player."

I can't see it. Let me take another tack here... for awhile the Macromedia Flash Player was bundled inside some of the Macromedia Shockwave Player downloads, but not the other way around. Why didn't little Flash pull big Shockwave, then? Because it wouldn't have worked sustainably.


(I thought Cringely's VoIP scenario sounded a little strange, because lots of people do use such abilities through the Macromedia Flash Player today, for various purposes -- the Player isn't so much "a VoIP client" as "a VoIP-assisting architecture" -- I couldn't picture the service he was suggesting, or the rationale (cutthroat telephony!?) and video was an existing, and better, example of stealth improvements anyway.)


jd/mm

7:10 PM

 
Blogger Tony said...

Hey John,

Ok the Acrobat download may not be likely, but proxying content through the Flash Player to another application is very likely to happen.

It already happens with both Central and Breeze, and I refuse to believe that this feature will not be leveraged in the future for similar reasons. It just works to well.

In the RIA future there will be a larger and larger demand for a strong bridge to the desktop. Certain functionality will be required if RIA's built on the Flash Platform are to compete with Microsoft Smart Clients and .NET.

This is the perfect way to allow the Flash Player to interface with more "desktop driven" applications.

Macromedia does own that functionality, and other developers cannot use it other than for launching Central apps. That is true of course, but again all the more reason why I could see Adobe using it in the future.

Back to the original point here John though is this:

System.Product is a trojan horse. It is a way for the web player to detect, download, and launch a deskop application. So ultimately I was just responding to that, how it is used is totally dependent on those that control it.

7:07 AM

 
Blogger VoIp Solutions said...

Hi, Thanks for your interesting blog. Keep up the great work! I also have a site & blog about free voip, please feel free to visit.

4:42 PM

 
Blogger Joe Muka said...

Just checking out blogs for ideas to add to my site about free internet phone softphones voip and other voip stuff. (I know its a boring subject) I liked your site

11:37 AM

 
Anonymous home decor said...

Tony GREAT title this post. I am actually looking for Horse news related information to give my customers on my website. I paused at the title and ran out of time to read, but will book mark you and come back latter to check you out some more. I am off to find some other Horse news related blogs. Thank you.

12:42 PM

 
Anonymous home decor said...

Hello Tony, I was surfing blogs and paused at your title this post. Thats what really caught my eye. I am promoting a home decor related website and need to find more information to offer some of my internet friends. Not exactly what I was looking for but you have givin me some good ideas about what could be done with my home decor related site that I will book mark and come back to hopefully get some more education from your site, you have some good stuff maybe you could visit my website and let me know what you think in my contact page. Just click on the link home decor. Thank you and I wish you well .

12:55 AM

 
Anonymous horse articles said...

Tony GREAT title this post. I am actually looking for horse articles related information to give my customers on my website. I paused at the title and ran out of time to read, but will book mark you and come back latter to check you out some more. I am off to find some other horse articles related blogs. Thank you.

5:45 AM

 
Anonymous wall art said...

Hey Tony GREAT title this post. Thats what actually caught my eye. I was surfing blogs to try and help my customers and visitors with information on my website about ##Keyword## and paused to read but ran out of time. I will book mark it and come back to read later. This isn't really what I was looking for what I really need is information about http://www.horse-lover-gift-ideas-central.com related subjects but thank you and I shall return. I wish you well.

1:00 PM

 
Anonymous wall art said...

Tony GREAT title this post. I am actually looking for wooden rocking horses related information to give my customers on my website. I paused at the title and ran out of time to read, but will book mark you and come back latter to check you out some more. I am off to find some other wooden rocking horses related blogs. Thank you.

4:00 AM

 
Anonymous Horse sence said...

Hi there blog owner! I am searching blogs to find information and sources to help with my website:http://www.horse-lover-gift-ideas-central.com/horse_figurine.html My site is fairly new about 8 months old and have a google pr of 3 and get about 50 people a day to visit. My site has rustic home decor and is all affiliate merchandise.
I have been in MLM companys for the past 8 years offline mainly and have never made a dime. This is a new frontier for my wife and I and don't have very much experience but a friend suggested searching blogs to get ideas about how people sale and also what kind of information they offer their customers and clients. We are begining to make some good money selling rustic home decor related articles but I also want to offer my customers some quality information to go along with good deals. If you make it to my site and can offer some constructive critisizm I will take it into consideration or if you have some ideas it will be greatly appreciated. Remember we are on a budget and we do all the work ourselves.

Thank you for your time.
Prosperous Regards,
rustic home decor

12:39 PM

 
Anonymous Horse gift said...

Hello, I have a fairly new website that has been online for about 8 months. I looked at alot of websites that are in my area home decor wholesaler . I have done the internet MLM thing and really got disgusted at the whole thing. So my wife and I thought since we love horses we should build a website around that. We have done pretty good so far but I always want to improve. I didn;t realize it would be so time consuming though. But we love it and hope to improve and offer some of the best recourses and products available. Hence the search for content new products and information about what we have. If you decide to come and visit maybe you can offer some advice That would be great. If not well you have A great new year.

Thank you for your BLOG.

Regards,

home decor wholesaler

10:41 AM

 
Anonymous Horse gift said...

Hi, I have a fairly new website that has been online for about 8 months. I looked at alot of websites that are in my area clock outdoor wall . So my wife and I thought since we love horses we should build a website around that. We have done pretty good so far but I always want to improve. I didn;t realize it would be so time consuming though. But we love it and hope to improve and offer some of the best recourses and products available. Hence the search for content new products and information about what we have. If you decide to come and visit maybe you can offer some advice That would be great. If not well you have A great new year. We hope to soon start a new site for horse adoption and rescue. Hopefully in the spring.

Thank you for your BLOG.

Regards,

clock outdoor wall

5:18 AM

 
Anonymous Horse said...

Hi there, I have came by in search of information. I was told that blogs have some of the best and most relevent information for any given subject. Mine happens to be a antique horse rocking sale gift website that has anything from jewelry to horse tack. So I am looking for new products and information based on antique horse rocking sale to offer my customers and possibly some good marketing ideas for my website.

Websites that I have and all the work involved in keeping several of them going and updating blogs I am at best posting once a month.

I have enjoyed your blog and am thankfull to be able to sort of pick your brain without actually bothering you.

I want to grow and build my website to be the best and know I have much to learn and fix to even come close.

I have been online for 8 months now so yes we are very young.

We have taken what we love and have turned it into a business.
I hope you come by to visit. I am not trying to sale you anything but would love to here if you have any ideas.

Thank you for your time.
antique horse rocking sale

5:00 PM

 
Anonymous Nokota said...

Hi there! Very interesting blog. I'll add it to my favorites.
Best Regards,
Nokota

6:29 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

runescape money runescape gold runescape money runescape gold wow power leveling wow powerleveling Warcraft Power Leveling Warcraft PowerLeveling buy runescape gold buy runescape money runescape items runescape gold runescape money runescape accounts runescape gp dofus kamas buy dofus kamas Guild Wars Gold buy Guild Wars Gold lotro gold buy lotro gold lotro gold buy lotro gold lotro gold buy lotro gold runescape money runescape power leveling runescape money runescape gold dofus kamas cheap runescape money cheap runescape gold Hellgate Palladium Hellgate London Palladium Hellgate money Tabula Rasa gold tabula rasa money lotro gold buy lotro gold Tabula Rasa Credit Tabula Rasa Credits Hellgate gold Hellgate London gold dofus kamas buy dofus kamas 血管瘤 肝血管瘤 音乐剧 北京富码电视 富码电视 富码电视台 7天酒店 7天连锁酒店 7天连锁 自清洗过滤器 过滤器 压力开关 压力传感器 流量开关 流量计 液位计 液位开关 温湿度记录仪 风速仪 可燃气体检测仪 wow power leveling wow powerleveling Warcraft PowerLeveling Warcraft Power Leveling World of Warcraft PowerLeveling World of Warcraft Power Leveling runescape power leveling runescape powerleveling

10:26 PM

 

Post a Comment

<< Home