Monday 25th of September 2017

Mozilla Firefox

Mozilla Firefox is a free and open source web browser descended from the Mozilla Application Suite, managed by the Mozilla Corporation. Firefox had 20.78% of the recorded usage share of web browsers as of November 2008, making it the second-most popular browser in current use worldwide, after Microsoft Internet Explorer.

To display web pages, Firefox uses the Gecko layout engine, which implements some current web standards plus a few features which are intended to anticipate likely additions to the standards.

Firefox includes tabbed browsing, a spell checker, incremental find, live bookmarking, a download manager, and an integrated search system that uses the user's desired search engine. Functions can be added through add-ons created by third-party developers, the most popular of which include the NoScript JavaScript disabling utility, Tab Mix Plus customizer, FoxyTunes media player control toolbar, Adblock Plus ad blocking utility, StumbleUpon (website discovery), Foxmarks Bookmark Synchronizer (bookmark synchronizer), DownThemAll! download enhancer, and Web Developer toolbar.

Users can customize Firefox with extensions and themes. Mozilla maintains an add-on repository at addons.mozilla.org with nearly 6500 add-ons in it as of December 2008. Firefox provides an environment for web developers in which they can use built-in tools, such as the Error Console or the DOM Inspector, or extensions, such as Firebug.

Firefox runs on various versions of Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, and many other Unix-like operating systems. Mozilla Firefox implements many web standards, including HTML, XML, XHTML, SVG 1.1 (partial), CSS (with extensions), ECMAScript (JavaScript), DOM, MathML, DTD, XSLT, XPath, and (animated) PNG images with alpha transparency. Firefox also implements standards proposals created by the WHATWG such as client-side storage, and canvas element. Firefox passes the Acid2 standards-compliance test from version 3.0.

Firefox uses a sandbox security model, and limits scripts from accessing data from other web sites based on the same origin policy. It uses SSL/TLS to protect communications with web servers using strong cryptography when using the https protocol. It also provides support for web applications to use smartcards for authentication purposes.

The Mozilla Foundation offers a "bug bounty" to researchers who discover severe security holes in Firefox. Official guidelines for handling security vulnerabilities discourage early disclosure of vulnerabilities so as not to give potential attackers an advantage in creating exploits.

Because Firefox has fewer and less severe publicly known unpatched security vulnerabilities than Internet Explorer (see Comparison of web browsers), improved security is often cited as a reason to switch from Internet Explorer to Firefox. The Washington Post reports that exploit code for critical unpatched security vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer was available for 284 days in 2006. In comparison, exploit code for critical security vulnerabilities in Firefox was available for 9 days before Mozilla shipped a patch to remedy the problem.

A 2006 Symantec study showed that although Firefox had surpassed other browsers in the number of vendor-confirmed vulnerabilities that year through September, these vulnerabilities were patched far more quickly than those found in other browsers. Symantec later clarified their statement, saying that Firefox still had fewer security vulnerabilities than Internet Explorer, as counted by security researchers. As of Nov 15, 2008, Firefox 3 has one security vulnerability unpatched according to Secunia. Internet Explorer 7 has nine security vulnerabilities unpatched, the most severe of which was rated "moderately critical" by Secunia.

Many Linux distributions now include a version of Firefox in their own native package manager format (.rpm, .deb, etc.)


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