One day after suddenly pulling the latest version of its popular web browser off of their website, Mozilla has re-released Firefox 16 for download. Mozilla pulled the latest version of Firefox from their install page as a result of a discovered security flaw. The security flaw apparently allowed harmful and malicious websites to track and identify which websites the user had visited. This flaw was discovered by security researcher Gareth Heyes, who then publicly disclosed the vulnerability.
While Mozilla has stated that there is no evidence of this flaw “in the wild”, Mozilla on Wednesday recommended that users who upgraded to version 16 downgrade back to 15.0.1. By noon Thursday, however, a new version, 16.0.1, was available for download and according to Mozilla, is now safe to download and use. Anyone that had already downloaded version 16 was upgraded to this newer version, along with an update for the Android version released Wednesday night.
The good news for Mozilla is that this security flaw appears to be minor and was one that they were able to quickly fix. Their browser Firefox, an open-source, free web browser, has enjoyed continued growth and success since its release in November of 2004, and now holds 22% of the global browser market share. With the continued competition from poplar web browsers such as Internet Explorer and Google Chrome, Mozilla has to ensure that their browser is safe and secure for users. It remains to be seen if any more security flaws will be discovered with the updated version, but for now it appears to be working well for Firefox.