by Danny Yadron
For a while Tuesday, Silicon Valley turned off its Flash.
Mozilla’s Firefox and Google’s Chrome browsers blocked old versions Adobe’s animation software — often used to play online videos — following news reports that hackers were using a security bug to take over peoples’ computers.
The moves came two days after Facebook’s top security executive, Alex Stamos, publicly called for Adobe to discontinue Flash.
Long used to animate websites and play online videos, Flash has become equally known for security flaws and slowing down websites. Steve Jobs famously refused to allow Flash to be installed on iPhones and iPads, in part, because of security concerns. Over time, other animation tools have become widely used by many sites and browsers.
This latest dust-up comes after leaked documents showed Hacking Team, an Italian firm that sells digital surveillance tools to governments, had exploited a flaw in Flash.
After that technique leaked, other hackers quickly began to use it as well, according to researchers at security companies like FireEye and Trend Micro.