Mozilla Updates Firefox, Thunderbird

Last week, the Mozilla organization released a new version, 23.0, of its Firefox browser, for all platforms (Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X).   The new version fixes 13 identified security vulnerabilities.  Mozilla rates four of these as being of Critical severity, and seven as High severity.

In addition, the new version introduces some new and changed capabilities.  It incorporates mixed content blocking, to protect against eavesdropping and “man-in-the-middle” attacks on secure pages.  It also incorporates a new Options panel for the Web Developer Toolbox.

This version also removes the JavaScript options from the Preferences page, and resets all values to the defaults.  (The controls under about:config  still work, but they are for experts.)  The rationale is that, because JavaScript is so widely used, turning it off breaks an unacceptable number of Web pages.  The suggested alternative, for those concerned about JavaScript-based exploits, is to use the NoScript extension, which allows more selective control.  Although my initial reaction to the Preferences change was negative, on reflection I think this approach, with NoScript, really is the better way to go.   I have been using NoScript myself for several years, and recommend it.

For further information on these changes, please see the Firefox Release Notes.  You can obtain the new version using the built-in update mechanism, or download a complete installation package.

Mozilla also released a new version, 17.0.8, of its Thunderbird E-mail client for Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X.  This is a security release, which fixes eight identified vulnerabilities; Mozilla rates two of these as Critical, and six as High severity.  For more information, see the Thunderbird Release Notes.

As with Firefox, you can obtain the new version via the built-in update mechanism, or download a complete installation package.

Because of the security content of these releases, I recommend that you upgrade your systems if you have not already done so.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: