Firefox’s latest security feature is designed to protect itself from buggy code

Firefox 95, the most recent model of Mozilla’s browser that’s rolling out beginning in the present day, introduces a brand new safety characteristic that’s designed to restrict the injury that bugs and safety vulnerabilities in its code may cause, Mozilla announced today. The characteristic, known as RLBox, was developed with assist from researchers on the College of California San Diego and the College of Texas, and it was initially launched as a prototype last year. It’s coming to each the desktop and cell variations of Firefox.

At its core, RLBox is a sandboxing expertise, which signifies that it’s successfully capable of isolate code in order that any safety vulnerabilities it’d comprise can’t hurt the general system. Sandboxing is a broadly used safety methodology throughout the trade, and browsers already run internet content material in sandboxed processes to attempt to cease malicious or buggy websites from compromising the general browser.

RLBox differs from this conventional method, nonetheless, and doesn’t have the identical prices to efficiency and reminiscence utilization. This makes it potential to sandbox essential browser subcomponents like its spell checker, successfully permitting it to deal with them as untrusted code whereas nonetheless operating in the identical course of. This locations limits on how code can run or which reminiscence it could actually entry.

As of in the present day’s launch, Firefox is isolating 5 modules: its Graphite font rendering engine, Hunspell spell checker, Ogg multimedia container format, Expat XML parser, and Woff2 internet font compression format. Mozilla says this implies if bugs or vulnerabilities are found in one in every of these subcomponents, the Firefox crew gained’t have to scramble to cease them from compromising the whole browser. “Even a zero-day vulnerability in any of them ought to pose no menace to Firefox,” Mozilla says.

Mozilla admits that it’s not a catch-all answer and that the method gained’t work in every single place, resembling notably performance-sensitive browser parts. However the developer says it hopes to see different browsers and software program tasks implement the expertise and that it intends to make use of it with extra of Firefox’s parts sooner or later. Mozilla has additionally up to date its bug bounty program and can now pay researchers in the event that they’re capable of bypass the brand new sandboxes.


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