Firefox 102: new ESR base and improved security


Firefox 102 and Firefox 102 ESR will be released later today. The new version of Mozilla’s Firefox web browser improves security, picture-in-picture mode, and is the new base for the Extended Support Release channel.

firefox 102

All Firefox development channels receive updates on the same day. Firefox Beta and Firefox Developer editions move to version 103 and Firefox Nightly moves to version 104. Firefox for Android follows the version of the stable channel, which means that it is moved to version 102 as well.

Executive Summary

  • Firefox 102 ESR is the new base. Firefox 91.x ESR will remain available for the next couple of releases before it is retired on September 20, 2022.
  • Audio decoding is moved to its own process with stricter sandboxing.
  • Firefox mitigates URL query parameters used for tracking in strict Tracking Protection mode.

Firefox 102 download and update

Firefox 102 and all other versions released today are delivered via the browser’s automatic update feature to most devices. The update may not yet be available, if you are reading this on the day of release.

Direct downloads are also available, follow the links below to Mozilla’s download website, to download the new version of the browser.

Firefox 102.0 new features and improvements

Query Parameter Stripping

firefox strict tracking protection

Firefox removes parameters from URLs automatically when these may be used to identify and track users. The removal should not impact the loading of the target address.

Starting in Firefox 102, a blocklist is used to strip known tracking parameters from top-level URLs.

The feature is enabled in the browser’s private browsing mode and when Firefox’s Enhanced Tracking Protection feature is set to strict.

Do the following to enable strict Tracking Protection:

  1. Load about:preferences#privacy in the Firefox address bar.
  2. Switch Enhanced Tracking Protection from Standard to Strict.

Hide the download panel

firefox hide download panel

Firefox displays the download panel whenever a new download starts. Some may dislike this, and these users may now disable the automatic opening of the download panel.

To do that, right-click on the download icon and select “Show Panel when Download Begins” to toggle the functionality. If you see no checkmark in front of it, Firefox won’t display the download panel.

Other changes

  • Audio decoding happens in its own process now, which improves security through stricter sandboxing.
  • Picture-in-Picture mode supports subtitles and captions on HBO Max, Funimation, Dailymotion, Tubi, Disney+ Hotstar, and SonyLIV.
  • Pressing Enter while using a Screen Reader on Windows no longer activates the wrong element and/or another window.

Developer

  • The update media feature is now enabled by default.
  • The property Window.sidebar is controlled by a preference, as it will be removed in a future version.
  • The interfaces IDBMutableFile, IDBFileHandle, IDBFileRequest and the method IDBDatabase.createMutableFile() have been disabled by default in preparation for removal in a future version.
  • Transform streams are supported by Firefox.
  • Readable byte streams are supported.
  • Add-on developers may use the scripting API, “which provides features to execute script, insert and remove CSS, and manage the registration of content scripts”, in Manifest V2 extensions.
  • Manifest V3 extensions need to specify the wasm-unsafe-eval to use WebAssembly.  Firefox supports Content-Security-Policy integration with WebAssembly.
  • The nonPersistentCookie option of the privacy.websites cookieConfig property is deprecated.

Enterprise changes

Two new policies added:

  • UseSystemPrintDialog commands Firefox to use the system’s print dialog. It has the same effect as setting the preference print.prefer_system_dialog to true.
  • ExemptDomainFileTypePairsFromFileTypeDownloadWarnings defines file types for which warnings are removed when they are downloaded.

Mozilla fixed an issue that caused a bug in Deceptive Content and Dangerous Software Protection policies. Locking the policies did not disable the about:preferences user interface.

Known Issues

none listed.

Security updates / fixes

Security updates are revealed after the official release of the web browser. You find the information published here after release.

Outlook

Firefox 103 will be released on July 26, 2022.

Firefox extension reviews and news

Recent Firefox news and tips

Additional information / sources

Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post Firefox 102: new ESR base and improved security appeared first on gHacks Technology News.



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