Firefox 16 crashes and burns

Ben Moss.
October 11, 2012
Firefox 16 crashes and burns.

ThumbMozilla’s Firefox has been slowly losing market share since its peak in mid-2009. Prior to the establishment of Google’s Chrome, Firefox was the only real alternative to the much despised Internet Explorer.

Its market share has been radically reduced by the advent of the mobile internet with consumers choosing to rely on default browsers, Apple’s Safari and the ever-present Google Chrome.

Firefox suffered yet another setback yesterday when, in an unprecedented move, Mozilla pulled the latest release.

Pushed live on Tuesday, Firefox 16 — the latest version of the decreasingly popular browser — contained a fundamental security flaw. It was discovered within 24 hours that the latest release potentially allowed a malicious site to detect and record your browsing history, with full access to URLs and their parameters.

According to a blog post published late last night by Michael Coates, Director of Security Assurance for Mozilla “[they] have no indication that this vulnerability is currently being exploited in the wild”.

Download Firefox

Despite this assurance the issue is more than the usual new release teething problems, as browser manufacturers rarely go to the lengths of withdrawing a new release, typically leaving a buggy product live and patching it as required (as was the case with Firefox 9). Currently, users attempting to download Firefox will be presented with version 15.0.1

Mozilla are expecting to release an update some time later today (Thursday 11th) that will correct the issue. At which point Firefox 16 (version 16.0.1) is expected to be made live again. If you’re concerned that you’ve been affected the advice is to re-download Firefox 15.0.1 until the problem is resolved.

It’s not clear what caused this issue, whether it is a by-product of Mozilla’s rapid release program, or whether it’s the result of patches in the browser designed to address other problems.

As I write this, Firefox 16.0.1 is probably already being prepped for launch. The damage to Mozilla’s reputation will take longer to patch up.

Update: as promised by Mozilla the Firefox 16.0.1 update is now available from mozilla​.org/​e​n​-​U​S​/​f​i​r​e​f​o​x/new

Have you lost faith in Mozilla as a result of this bug, or does the rapid response increase your confidence in Firefox? Let us know in the comments.

Thumbnail includes ring of fire image via Shutterstock.

Ben Moss

Ben Moss is Senior Editor at WebdesignerDepot. He’s designed and coded work for award-winning startups, and global names including IBM, UBS, and the FBI. One of these days he’ll run a sub-4hr marathon. Say hi on Twitter.

Read Next

3 Essential Design Trends, June 2023

This month we are focusing on three trends within a bigger website design trend – different navigation menu styles and …

15 Best New Fonts, May 2023

The choices you make when selecting a typeface have more impact on your design than almost any other decision, so it’s …

10+ Best Tools & Resources for Web Designers and Agencies (2023 updated)

Having the ability to envision a tastefully designed website (i.e., the role creativity plays) is important. But being …

20 Best New Websites, May 2023

This month, there are tons of great new agency websites to get excited about. 3D animated prisms are a popular theme, a…

How to Find the Right White Label Website Builder for Your Agency

Web design agencies face a lot of obstacles in closing the deal with new clients. One of the most common ones is the ar…

Exciting New Tools For Designers, May 2023

There are hundreds of new tools for designers and developers released each month. We sift through them all to bring you…

3 Essential Design Trends, May 2023

All three of the website design trends here mimic something bigger going on in the tech space, from a desire to have mo…

10 Best AI Tools for Web Designers (2023)

It’s time to stop worrying if AI is going to take your job and instead start using AI to expand the services you can of…

10 Best Marketing Agency Websites (Examples, Inspo, and Templates!)

Marketers are skilled in developing strategies, producing visual assets, writing text with high impact, and optimizing …

15 Best New Fonts, April 2023

Fonts are a designer’s best friend. They add personality to our designs and enable fine typography to elevate the quali…

20 Best New Websites, April 2023

In April’s edition, there’s a whole heap of large-scale, and even full-screen, video. Drone footage is back with a veng…

Exciting New Tools For Designers, April 2023

The AI revolution is having a huge impact on the types of products that are hitting the market, with almost every app b…