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Firefox 15 patches 31 security flaws, improves performance

by Mark Tyson on 29 August 2012, 10:45

Tags: Firefox

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Firefox 15 is available to download now. If you haven’t already updated go to the Help > About Firefox dialogue and the update will start downloading straight away, in a kind of “I was just about to do it, no need to push me” manner. Mozilla have updated the browser with patches to 31 security flaws, 23 of which are described as “critical”. The update isn’t all about security because Firefox 15 is supposed to bring “drastic improvements in performance” due to plugging memory leaks and several improvements to WebGL and JavaScript support making advanced 3D games possible within the browser.


Mozilla patched 31 vulnerabilities in Firefox to bring us Firefox 15. A large proportion of the vulnerabilities were “critical”. An interesting “moderate” vulnerability detailed in MFSA 2012-67 details how the “Installer will launch incorrect executable following new installation”, running the program with the user’s privileges. Incidentally, nearly half of all the 31 security bugs patched were brought to light thanks to “Inferno” from the Google Chrome Security Team.

Faster experience

The greater efficiency and speed of the new Firefox 15 are heralded in The Mozilla Blog. In a blog post entitled Firefox Now Uses Less Memory to Make Browsing Faster the writer says that “Firefox makes your Web experience faster by reducing memory usage when browsing with certain add-ons. The improvements make browsing smoother and more responsive.” Also the blog focuses on an improved, faster JavaScript Debugger which is now able to remotely debug apps running on Firefox for Android.


Gaming is more and more important to web browser users. If a user notices a slow browser gaming experience they may try another browser and end up adopting that for general use too. So Mozilla has improved both the JavaScript engine and enhanced WebGL performance and features.

A sister post by the Mozilla team at Hacks.Mozilla.Org accompanies the Firefox 15 release. In a post entitled Mozilla and Games: Pushing the Limits of What’s Possible, Martin Best details all the gaming improvements and says “We are focused on making Firefox the best game development platform possible”. To demonstrate his point and show “progress in action” Mozilla have developed the oddly named Bananabread FPS game which Mr Best says “surpassed our highest expectations”. Click that link to go to a page allowing you to launch the game, it’s probably a good idea to make sure you have updated to Firefox 15 first.

The focus of improvements in the second half of 2012 is going to be Firefox for Android and for the Firefox OS, according to the Mozilla Hacks blog. HTML5 gaming will be enhanced across all platforms following these new major performance improvements.

I’ve not tried Bananabread yet on my just-updated Firefox 15 install, so excuse me while I go and machinegun some alien warriors for a short while.

HEXUS Forums :: 15 Comments

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It's a VERY nice update, but I discovered a “little” drawback that my Flash player doesn't work as smoothly as it used to and that's mildly put. Hopefully, they will release an update soon. I still cannot get my head around such a big company like Adobe being unable to make a simple FLV player work normally. It's kinda unbelievable?! I use Media Player Classic for playing video files, and it can play so many formats without any problems, and they ADOBE cannot make Flash player that has to deal with only a handful of video formats work?! Makes you wonder if corporate software is worth it at all.
I was amazed that they now seem to be doing regional localisations, but then realised it was Maithili on the release notes, not MaltHill.
I think it's too late for Firefox, I left it a few years back when it kept getting memory leaks with Flash plugin; Chrome never had that issue.
i still like firefox use it everyday my favourite browser, nice update as well!
I still like Firefox a lot, the awesome bar is a good feature that Chrome lacks.