One of the common complaints about Flash is the security holes that create potential vectors for attackers. Now, Apple is working to contain the damage in its latest version of the Mac OS. According to a post to the Adobe Secure Software Engineering Team blog, under Mavericks, Flash Player runs in a “sandboxed” mode that keeps it from reaching outside of Safari’s walled garden, bringing Safari in line with Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer, which already operated in a similar manner.
While it has become less of a selling point for Apple as time has gone on, OS X’s lack of malware relative to Windows still remains something of a benefit. However, one of the advantages the Mac OS has had over Windows is its relative obscurity compared to Microsoft’s OS. As Apple continues to push Macs in addition to iOS devices, there’s a good chance unsavory characters are going to be interested in finding more ways to bust open OS X.
By sandboxing Flash, Apple has made a significant move to quarantine one of the main infection vectors on the Mac. We’ll see whether that has a major effect on Mac malware in the future.