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Authorities of South Africa create their own browser to continue to use Flash

ZDNet reports that the South Africa Revenue service has created its own browser to continue using the Adobe Flash Player on the existing site, taking some web forms from Flash to HTML.

Let me remind you that Flash Player support was finally discontinued on December 31, 2020. In addition, a special mechanism for self-destruction was built into the software code in advance, and starting from January 12, 2021, Adobe forcibly blocks the launch of any Flash content.

Plan of the Adobe developers worked exactly as it was supposed, and on January 12, the South African tax service began to experience problems: the department stopped receiving tax returns through its website, as the forms for downloading them were Flash widgets.

SARS is aware of certain forms that are not loading correctly due to Adobe Flash. We are currently working on resolving the matter and will advise once the problem has been resolved. We sincerely apologise for the current inconvenience.says SA Revenue Service in its Twitter account.

Instead of abandoning Flash and switching to HTML or JS, the South African authorities took a non-trivial step. The fact is that this week the Revenue office introduced its own browser, SARS eFiling Browser, a stripped-down version of Chromium with two main functions. Thus, the browser re-enables Flash support and gives users access to the SARS eFiling website. Fortunately, the browser only allows access to the official website of the Revenue service, which slightly reduces the potential risks for its users.

At the same time, SARS eFiling Browser is available only for Windows, that is, users of macOS, Linux and mobile OSs still cannot submit tax return files.

Also, as I reported, the discontinuation of Flash support and operation came as a surprise to the staff of the railway system in China’s Liaoning province.

Apple Daily reports that China Railway Shenyang’s railway software is based on Flash, and after the technology shutdown on January 12, employees in fact lost control of the entire system.

Tuesday’s chaos arose after China Railway Shenyang failed to deactivate Flash in time, leading to a complete shutdown of its railroads in Dalian, Liaoning province. Staffers were reportedly unable to view train operation diagrams, formulate train sequencing schedules and arrange shunting plans.reports Apple Daily.

According to ArsTechnica, the problem was solved only the next day, by installing an old version of Flash and blocking updates.

Vladimir Krasnogolovy

Vladimir is a technical specialist who loves giving qualified advices and tips on GridinSoft's products. He's available 24/7 to assist you in any question regarding internet security.

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