Mozilla Releases Firefox 17

November 20, 2012

The Mozilla organization today released version 17.0 of its Firefox browser, for Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux.   The new version incorporates some new capabilities:

  • A revision to the Social API, and support for Facebook Messenger
  • “Click to Play” blocking of outdated or vulnerable browser plugins.  Plugins on the block list will not be loaded unless the user specifically approves them.
  • “Sandbox” attribute implemented for iframes, to improve security

This release also fixes 16 identified security vulnerabilities. Mozilla rates 6 of these as having Critical severity, and 9 as High.  There are also several miscellaneous bug fixes; further details are available in the Release Notes.

Because of the security fixes incorporated in this release, I recommend that you update your systems as soon as you conveniently can.  You can use the update mechanism built into the browser (Help / About Firefox / Check for Updates), or you can get a complete installation package from the Firefox download page.

Update Tuesday, 20 November, 21:45 EST

The “Webmonkey” blog at Wired has an article discussing the new Social API capability in more detail.

Update Tuesday, 20 November, 22:12 EST

Ars Technica also has a review of the new Firefox release.

I should have noted earlier that this release drops support for Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard).  It is also an Extended Support release, and will receive security updates for 54 weeks.

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