Re-enabling Flash to maintain access to Audit Central/HealthChecks Central

21 January, 2021

1. Background

In 2018 Adobe announced that Flash would be End of Lifed on 31st December 2020 and would be unsupported after that date. Subsequently, the industry has been working to remove dependencies on Flash in websites. The widespread understanding was that websites using Flash would continue to operate after this date, just that there would be no further releases or patches/bugfixes for Flash released by Adobe.

In December 2020, Adobe released a new version of Flash with a “kill switch” implemented which they enabled on 12th January 2021. At this point, all websites using Flash were made unavailable. Adobe did not undertake a significant awareness campaign of their intent to disable (rather than discontinue to support) Flash, and many websites have been impacted by this action.

2. Immediate Resolution

Adobe Flash has for some time supported local configuration for “whitelisting” named websites, allowing IT departments to disable the use of Flash by users except for nominated websites.

The Adobe “kill switch” works by asserting that all websites are, as of 12th January 2021, blacklisted except those which are explicitly whitelisted.

The solution works by configuring Flash on the user’s local PC to “whitelist” the Informatica website URLs. This involves creating a file on the local PC filesystem. Thereafter, the website will work as previously.

For Chrome users the configuration file needs to be created in the local user filesystem. For users of other browsers, the file needs to be created in one of the Windows System directories and therefore Administrator privileges will be required to apply the configuration.

Any users having difficulties applying the configuration can contact our Customer Service department who will be able to assist.

Alternatively we have written a very small executable which can be downloaded and run to achieve the same configuration changes.

3. Concierge Service

Informatica are also willing to provide a “concierge service” for customers who are constrained by local policies from implementing the whitelisting for Informatica products. Under this concierge service we will access the central portal on your behalf and download data as required by customers. This service is subject to a fair use policy to ensure parity for all customers and users. If customers wish to use this service please contact Customer Support or Andy Syme (General Manager) to discuss your requirements and agree an appropriate schedule.

4. Longer Term Resolution

Informatica Systems Ltd is redeveloping the current product line using modern technologies. These are based on centrally hosted applications on a Cloud computing platform, and a user experience delivered via a web browser. This new development will not have a dependency on Flash.

5. Enabling Whitelisting Manually

The whitelisting process depends on the browser that you are using and the version of Windows (32-bit or 64-bit).

Firstly, you will need to download a text file called “mms.cfg” from here, or request the file from Customer Support.

5.1 Chrome

  1. If the directory “C:\Users\%Username%\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Pepper Data\Shockwave Flash\System” does not exist then create it (it is only the System directory that may not exist on your system).
  2. Copy the mms.cfg file you downloaded into this directory.

5.2 All other browsers on Windows 32-bit

  1. Ensure you are logged in as a user with Administrator privileges
  2. Copy the mms.cfg file you downloaded into the following directory: “C:\Windows\System32\Macromed\Flash”

5.3 All other browsers on Windows 64-bit

  1. Ensure you are logged in as a user with Administrator privileges
  2. Copy the mms.cfg file you downloaded into the following directory: “C:\Windows\SysWOW64\Macromed\Flash”

6. Enabling Whitelisting via Application

  1. Download the application “FlashFix.exe” from here. This is an application we have written to automate the above steps and is fully code signed.
  2. Right click on the executable and select “Run as Administrator”.

The application will run, show some output in a command window confirming its actions, and exit.