Security never takes a holiday, unlike most other industries in the world. Proof is from spam email, vulnerability updates, etc. right on the same week of the holidays. Thankfully, most of us will have some time with our families. But, the point here is, is that Firefox 17.0 has been officially released, right on schedule!
The technical side of things, or the biggest change in this version is HTTPS enforcement as described:
Mozilla has engineered new “rules” to enforce HTTPS for certain websites. Mozilla calls the new technology, to be included in Firefox 17 (currently in BETA), HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS). It is a technology mechanism that shall force certain websites to engage HTTPS connection with the browser, as long as it matches the security certificate presented.
In other words, it gives the ability to Firefox to read SSL certificates, and check to be sure they are legitimate. Once it’s verified, and matched, it will force the site loaded to be in HTTPS, even if the browser receives a HTTP request.
“When a user connects to one of these hosts for the first time, the browser will know that it must use a secure connection. If a network attacker prevents secure connections to the server, the browser will not attempt to connect over an insecure protocol, thus maintaining the user’s security,” Mozilla claims.
Now, there are also a ton of bugs that were fixed in this release. Mozilla patched 2365 bugs in this version…16 bundles involving things like the normal memory corruption or buffer overflow, CSS to HTML inject for Style Inspector, and various image rendering issues (security-wise).
Firefox should automatically prompt you, install the update and then prompt you, or you can check for the update via Firefox tab > Help > About Firefox > Check for updates. If a manual download and install it needed, simply go to http://www.getfirefox.com
Once you install Firefox, it will ask to restart your browser. Please allow it to do so, in order for it to finish updating and get you secure and well on your way in the dangers of the Internet. Especially safety is a concern as we head in to the holiday shopping day, Cyber Monday, next week. Get updated now!