Firefox Browser On Linux And Mac Gets New Security Technology


Along with rolling out the latest security update to the Firefox browser, Mozilla has now introduced a new approach to secure the Firefox web browser on Linux and Mac operating systems.

Firefox uses various external libraries to render the audio, videos, and images that can be exploited by the attackers to introduce malicious code. Hence, Firefox includes a new lightweight sandboxing architecture, RLBox, that uses a WebAssembly sandbox to tackle the vulnerabilities posed by the third-party libraries.

What Is RLBox Sandboxing System In Firefox?

RLBox is the new sandboxing technology that adapts WebAssembly security mechanism to put browser components into secure sandboxes so that attackers cannot access or exploit the user’s system through infected third-party libraries.

This method is developed by researchers at the University of California, San Diego, the University of Texas, Austin, and Stanford University in collaboration with members of the Mozilla Firefox team.

How New Approach Secures Users On The Internet?

Security on the Internet is a must-required feature for any application to avoid compromises. Currently, browsers like Chrome isolate whole web applications or a website such as Google, Amazon, to prevent any cross-site attacks.

On the other hand, Firefox uses process-level sandboxing and lightweight Rust programming language to avoid any security issues. But the current method mostly fits for large and pre-existing components and, hence, is restricted to a certain extent with various limitations.

Therefore, the new approach devised by researchers uses a unique sandboxing method by separating third-party libraries from the app’s native code. Instead of isolating the app from the operating system, RLBox obstructs the execution of malicious code, present in the external library, on the user’s system.

For in-depth details of RLBox, you can read the official research paper from here. However, researchers will also present the paper at the USENIX Security Symposium in August.

New Updates Available For Linux And Mac Users

The new security approach has already been added to the Firefox codebase. Linux and Mac users can experience the new update in the upcoming Firefox 74 and Firefox 75. However, Windows users have to wait for a few more months.

Meanwhile, you can download the beta release of Firefox from here.

Sarvottam Kumar

Sarvottam Kumar

Sarvottam Kumar is a software engineer by profession with interest and experience in Blockchain, Angular, React and Flutter. He loves to explore the nuts and bolts of Linux and share his experience and insights of Linux and open source on the web/various prestigious portals.
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