Risk

7/17/2012
06:03 PM
Connect Directly
Google+
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Firefox 14 Secures Google Search Queries

Security, interface, and gaming improvements debut in the latest version of Mozilla's Web browser.

Mozilla released Firefox 14 Tuesday, an updated version of its popular open-source browser that adds several security improvements and support for APIs that enhance Web gaming.

Firefox 14 comes just six weeks after the release of Firefox 13. In February 2011, responding to Google's release cycle for Chrome, Mozilla said it would shift to a rapid release cycle, distributing updates more often, with fewer new features.

The latest incarnation of Firefox brings a significant improvement in search security: Searches submitted through the Firefox location bar, search box, or the right-click menu will be sent to Google using a secure (HTTPS) connection.

"While Google users may expect Google to know what they are searching for, Firefox users may not be aware these search terms are often transmitted to sites they visit when they click on items in the search results," explained Mozilla lead privacy engineer Sid Stamm in a blog post in May. "Enabling HTTPS search helps sites like Google strip this information from the HTTP referrer string, putting the user better in control of when and to whom [his or her] interests are shared."

[ Learn more about Mozilla's mobile browser. Read Firefox For Android Reborn. ]

Mozilla's decision to support search security doesn't please some website operators, who fear the move will make publishers more dependent on Google: As a result of the change, Web publishers won't see the search keywords that attracted Firefox users in their website log files. To obtain that information, website owners will have to use Google Analytics.

Google has already implemented HTTPS search support in Chrome.

Firefox 14 also includes some user interface enhancements designed to communicate information about website security more effectively. For sites that support SSL encryption, Mozilla has restored the previously removed lock icon, now displayed to the left of URLs, along with the "https://" URL prefix. Websites with an EV (Extended Validation) Certificate display a green lock icon as well as the name of the website owner.

Another new security-oriented feature is that plug-ins can now be configured so that they only load after a click. In addition, Firefox 14 fixes 14 browser vulnerabilities.

To make games work better in Firefox, Mozilla has added support for the Pointer Lock API, formerly known as Mouse Lock, and support for native full-screen mode in OS X 10.7 (Lion). Pointer Lock helps keep mouse movements associated with an active browser-based game; without it, moving the mouse pointer past the browser boundary shifts the input device focus from the browser canvas to the underlying operating system, a potentially disruptive experience.

Firefox 14 is available for download, as always, for free.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Cybersecurity's 'Broken' Hiring Process
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  10/11/2017
Ransomware Grabs Headlines but BEC May Be a Bigger Threat
Marc Wilczek, Digital Strategist & CIO Advisor,  10/12/2017
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: Search Cybersecuruty and you will get unicorn.
Current Issue
Security Vulnerabilities: The Next Wave
Just when you thought it was safe, researchers have unveiled a new round of IT security flaws. Is your enterprise ready?
Flash Poll
The State of Ransomware
The State of Ransomware
Ransomware has become one of the most prevalent new cybersecurity threats faced by today's enterprises. This new report from Dark Reading includes feedback from IT and IT security professionals about their organization's ransomware experiences, defense plans, and malware challenges. Find out what they had to say!
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2017-0290
Published: 2017-05-09
NScript in mpengine in Microsoft Malware Protection Engine with Engine Version before 1.1.13704.0, as used in Windows Defender and other products, allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code or cause a denial of service (type confusion and application crash) via crafted JavaScript code within ...

CVE-2016-10369
Published: 2017-05-08
unixsocket.c in lxterminal through 0.3.0 insecurely uses /tmp for a socket file, allowing a local user to cause a denial of service (preventing terminal launch), or possibly have other impact (bypassing terminal access control).

CVE-2016-8202
Published: 2017-05-08
A privilege escalation vulnerability in Brocade Fibre Channel SAN products running Brocade Fabric OS (FOS) releases earlier than v7.4.1d and v8.0.1b could allow an authenticated attacker to elevate the privileges of user accounts accessing the system via command line interface. With affected version...

CVE-2016-8209
Published: 2017-05-08
Improper checks for unusual or exceptional conditions in Brocade NetIron 05.8.00 and later releases up to and including 06.1.00, when the Management Module is continuously scanned on port 22, may allow attackers to cause a denial of service (crash and reload) of the management module.

CVE-2017-0890
Published: 2017-05-08
Nextcloud Server before 11.0.3 is vulnerable to an inadequate escaping leading to a XSS vulnerability in the search module. To be exploitable a user has to write or paste malicious content into the search dialogue.