Thursday, October 11, 2012

Mozilla pulls Firefox 16 to address security issue

It has not even been two days since Firefox 16 was launched, and Mozilla has pulled the Firefox 16 installer from the site’s download page citing what is apparently a serious security issue in the latest instalment of the browser. According to a post on the Mozilla Security Blog by Michael Coates, Director of Security Assurance, Mozilla, the vulnerability could allow a malicious site to potentially determine which websites users have visited and have access to the URL or URL parameters. Coates goes on to state that the company has no indication that this vulnerability is currently being exploited. 

Firefox for Android’s Google Play changelog states that it has been updated with a fix for the aforementioned vulnerability.

Users who have already downloaded and installed Firefox 16 will be automatically upgraded to the fixed and new version as soon as Mozilla makes it available. The company goes on to provide a link to the previous version of the browser, Firefox 15, to which users can downgrade to as a precaution.
Under attack...again!
Pulled barely two days after release.

Firefox 16 was released yesterday and brought initial web app support, a new developer toolbar, support for more HTML5 code, and accessibility improvements for Mac. With the web app support, users will be able to run web-based applications on any of their devices as web apps are self-contained, don’t always require the chrome of a browser window (the borders of a Web browser window, which include the window frames, menus, toolbars and scroll bars), and can be built to be run offline.

More importantly, HTML5 code such as CSS3 Transitions, animations, transforms and gradients are now unprefixed in Firefox 16. This means that Mozilla considers them to be stable enough to run in Firefox without causing major issues. Stable features include CSS3 Animations, Transitions, Transforms, Image Values, IndexedDB and Values and Units. Firefox also unprefixes Battery API and Vibration API, two Web APIs that Mozilla helped create.

The new developer toolbar in Firefox 16 has buttons for quick access to tools, an error count for the web console and a new command line that lets you control the tools with your keyboard. 

The Mac version of Firefox 16 has preliminary VoiceOver support turned on by default. This is an accessibility feature built into Apple’s OSX that helps users with disabilities easily control the computer. Mozilla has mentioned the support for this is ‘preliminary’ and this indicates that VoiceOver shouldn't be expected to work perfectly with Firefox 16.

Firefox for Android version 16 brings a new feature to simplify reading on websites and blogs - Reader Mode. The new mode makes it easier for you to view, read and share articles and stories from your mobile phone or tablet. Tapping the 'Reader' icon in the location bar on supported websites or blogs will change the layout of the page to reformat the text, increase the font size, change the size of images and remove advertisements. You can also use the 'Share' menu item to send tabs to desktop/ mobile devices through the 'Firefox Sync' option. Search suggestions pop up when you’re typing into the location bar, giving you quicker access to your websites. The live thumbnail images let you switch between tabs to show you updated snaps from your site.

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