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Firefox 95.0 update comes with beefed up sandbox security

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— “December 7, 2021”

With Firefox’s 95.0 release already rolling out, it looks like the browser has doubled down on security in a new and interesting way.

The updated browser will feature a new sandboxing technology to help keep it safe from bugs and vulnerabilities in its code. Sandboxing is a pretty common method of dealing with potential breaches. It works by isolating code to stop any vulnerabilities in apps from having access to all of Firefox. 

Reported by The Verge, the technology is called RLBox, and has been running as a prototype for Mac and Linux Firefox for a while, but is finally coming full fledged to the Windows release. It was developed by the combined efforts of University of California San Diego and the University of Texas, and is a bit next level because it can segregate sections of code within apps. 

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Mozilla has specifically targeted several of Firefox’s components with RLBox as pre-emptive efforts. Graphite font rendering engine, Hunspell spell checker, Ogg multimedia container format, Expat XML parser, and Woff2 web font compression format have all been isolated. This way if there are problems with the code, it won’t pose a threat to the entire browser.

When discussing the security previously, Mozilla explained that a large push for RLBox is thanks to working with C and C++, which are notorious for having security bugs. Most of Firefox’s newer code is done in Rust, which is much safer but there’s plenty of old code still in use. RLBox allows that code to be isolated so it won’t pose a threat to the rest of the system in the meantime. 

Firefox used to be one of the most prominent browsers around but that’s not the case anymore having lost 46 million users in three years. It’s even less popular than Microsoft’s Edge. However, Firefox is the best one for PC gamers, at least for now. And this nice security touch is absolutely a tick in its favour. That being said, It’s probably not all good news for Mozilla’s browser. Recently the company conducted tests to see if users would be happy to work with Bing as a search engine instead of Google. So look out for that. 

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