27 February, 2021

Adobe Flash Shutdown leads to a blockage in the Chinese railway for over 16 hours, and apparently, the easy fix was to use a pirated version of Flash. According to an Apple Daily report, the problem started at the Chinese Shenyang Railway in Dalian, Liaoning, shortly after 8:00 a.m. On Tuesday, January 12th, railway workers could not access railway timetables, which they usually do via Flash-based interface. Over the next 30 minutes, reports of such failures spread throughout the network, with up to 30 stations affected. This information comes from a statement from CR Shenyang reported by a Chinese blog.

It was only after technicians went online to explore a possible way to fix this so-called “bug”, that they discovered about the global shutdown of Flash, news that had not reached the isolated Chinese Internet. A translation of Github’s timeline offers software backups, a temporarily restored service around noon, although interruptions return around 2:00 p.m., and after that in the evening. Then Shenyang’s CR response team began exploring a return to older software systems, whose options consisted of an unspecified Microsoft setup or an archived, pirated version of Flash without the deactivation code. The technicians stopped at the last one, and around 1:00 a.m. on the 13th CR Shenyang successfully switched on one of its stations online. By 2:30 a.m., all but one of the routes were in operation, and the railway nightmare was over.

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