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Firefox 95 for Windows and Mac introduces RLBox, a new sandboxing tech

Firefox 95 for Windows and Mac introduces RLBox, a new sandboxing tech

 December 10, 2021 at 10:37 pm   |     Author:   |     Technology  

A minimalist view of the Firefox web browser.
Enlarge / A minimalist view of the Firefox web browser.


Mozilla has released the latest version of Firefox, Firefox 95, for Windows and macOS. It’s available now for all users on both platforms.

The Firefox team says the new macOS version reduces CPU usage during event processing and that power usage is reduced while streaming video from sites like Netflix, “especially in fullscreen.” macOS users will also get a faster content process startup and will enjoy memory allocator improvements for better overall performance.

On both macOS and Windows, Mozilla has “improved page load performance by speculatively compiling JavaScript ahead of time.” There’s also a way to move the picture-in-picture toggle button to the opposite side of the video on both platforms, plus a handful of fixes.

But those optimizations and tweaks aside, Firefox 95’s best enhancements have to do with security, as RLBox is now enabled on all platforms. Mozilla published a detailed blog post explaining what RLBox is and how it works, but the quick summary is that it’s a new sandboxing technique that isolates potentially problematic code in WebAssembly and protects users from threats.

Mozilla’s Bobby Holley writes that RLBox goes above and beyond what is afforded by process-based sandboxing and that it will be applied in more ways in the future:

RLBox is a big win for us on several fronts: it protects our users from accidental defects as well as supply-chain attacks, and it reduces the need for us to scramble when such issues are disclosed upstream. As such, we intend to continue applying to more components going forward.

Firefox 95 follows the November 2 release of Firefox 94, which, among other things, added new color themes, introduced Site Isolation (which is now on by default for all users in Firefox 95), made changes to the way updates were delivered, and made several OS-specific optimizations like improved WebGL performance under Linux.

Listing image by Mozilla

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