In an eyebrow raising announcement, users of Mozilla’s Firefox browser are urgently warned to upgrade to Firefox 72.0.1, Firefox Extended Support Release (ESR) 68.4.1, and Thunderbird 68.4.1 (which uses the Firefox engine) or later right away.
All software has bugs, and Mozilla’s software is no exception. Also, bad guys will ruin everything on the Internet.
What makes this warning from the United States Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) so important is that there are active attacks being made on Firefox compromised websites that have been infected with malicious web pages. Once an unpatched version of Firefox is successfully exploited, an attacker will be able to gain control over the Mac or Windows PC that the browser is running on.
The CISA cybersecurity warning reads:
“Mozilla has released security updates to address a vulnerability in Firefox, Firefox ESR, and Thunderbird. An attacker could exploit this vulnerability to take control of an affected system. This vulnerability was detected in exploits in the wild.
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) encourages users and administrators to review the Mozilla Security Advisories for Firefox 72.0.1 and Firefox ESR 68.4.1 and Thunderbird 68.4.1 and apply the necessary updates.”
Mozilla has provided directions for upgrading your copy of Firefox to the latest release on their support website.
Keep yourself safe. Apply this update, even if you normally do not like to apply software patches and upgrades.
Despite hosting this blog on a Google service, Blogger, I am really not a fan of Google Chrome. I am a paid supporter of Mozilla FireFox and I prefer Apple’s Safari. Google already has amassed a massive profile of pretty much all of us who use the Internet, that I do not want to make it any easier than it already is for them to get an even better view into how I use the Internet.
If the NetMarketShare.com desktop browser usage trending is even remotely close to accurate, I may not be able to maintain my objection to Google Chrome much longer.
Consider the embedded graphic above. It shows that between December 2015 and March 2016 Internet Explorer dropped down to 39% from about 46% – a dead heat with Google Chrome. But looks what happens between March 2016 and June 2016. The downward trend of Internet Explorer accelerates, and as of about two weeks ago, stands at just below 32%. Some of that decline, I am sure has to do with the aggressive push by Microsoft to get anyone still using Windows XP, Windows 7, and Windows 8.1 over onto Windows 10, which we all know favors the new Edge browser. If we add Edge’s 5% share to that of Internet Explorer’s 32%, we get 37% vs Chrome’s 49%.
The bottom line here is that if there are some corporate web based tool or commercial website that is flaky or if it is not supported, it probably won’t be anytime soon. As an old Vulcan proverb goes, the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. (Or the one.) I’m just not happy with all of the tracking and profiling.
Jack Schofield, writing for ZDNet:
“The main reason for switching to Firefox is that, overall, it’s better than Chrome. But there are other reasons.
Other leading browsers may sometimes do that, but their primary function is to serve the needs of giant corporations — Apple, Google and Microsoft — none of which has any interest in preserving your privacy. Usually the reverse, in fact.
Firefox has always respected your privacy, and now, all things considered, it’s also winning on merit.”
I couldn’t agree more. Google already knows so much about us, I don’t want to make it even easier for the search and advertizing giant to learn more about me. That’s why I still have FireFox installed on my Macs and Windows 7 PCs. As far as I’m concerned, FireFox is pretty fast enough for my needs and when I do have to run Chrome, I run it in a VM.