Adobe disabling Flash also shut down this railroad in China

January 27, 2021

Guess how it was fixed.

Flash is officially dead. What was once the premier platform for most internet-based games and websites is now a thing of the past. The increasing popularity of HTML 5 not to mention the numerous security vulnerabilities were just some of the reasons that led to its demise. 

Adobe officially announced Flash’s retirement in 2017, giving users three years to find an alternative. But apparently, for a railroad in China, it ignored the warning and continued using Flash. When Adobe pulled the plug, it also disabled the railroad’s timetables, which were accessed through a Flash-based interface.

The incident happened in China Railway Shenyang in Dalian, Liaoning last Tuesday, January 12th. Reports said that the head of the switching station said that it could no longer access the timetables, which led to other failures in the railroad network, impacting more than 30 stations.

When technicians were brought in, they didn’t realize Flash was already shut down, citing that Adobe’s announcement was never heard of. Software backups managed to restore services but also failed so technicians began looking for options.

The solution they agreed on is to install a pirated version of Flash that doesn’t have the ‘time bomb’ code that disables it. Everything went back to normal and the railroad service is now fully back up, though we’re not sure if Adobe would be happy knowing that a pirated version of an expired software is being used to run a train service.

The main lesson here is never to rely on Flash to create your system – or at least know when to update it.

[Photo by Brett Sayles from Pexels]

by Victor
Tech Enthusiast and Movie Buff.