Firefox 85.0.0 and 78.7.0 ESR released

Mozilla[German]Mozilla developers have released Firefox browser version 85.0.0 and 78.7.0 ESR as of January 26, 2021. Firefox 85 is a new branch for the browser and the ESR gets security updates. Here is an overview of the updates.


Firefox 85.0.0

The biggest innovation of version 85.0.0 is the feature against supercookies described in this article. Supercookies can be used instead of regular cookies to store user identifiers, but they are much more difficult to delete and block. This makes it almost impossible for users to protect their privacy while browsing the Internet. Over the years, trackers have been discovered that store user identifiers as supercookies in increasingly obscure places in the browser, such as flash memories, ETags, and HSTS flags.

Firefox 85 does this by partitioning all of the following caches by the top-level site visited: HTTP cache, image cache, favicon cache, HSTS cache, OCSP cache, stylesheet cache, font cache, DNS cache, HTTP authentication cache, alt svc cache, and TLS certificate cache. The new feature is intended to better protect users against tracking by supercookies while browsing the web without significantly degrading load times.

In addition to protection against supercookies, the release notes mention a new bookmark management feature. It's easier than ever to save and access bookmarks. Firefox now remembers the preferred location for saved bookmarks, shows the bookmarks toolbar by default on new tabs, and gives users easy access to all their bookmarks via a toolbar folder.

The password manager now allows you to remove all saved logins with one click, instead of having to delete each login individually. In addition, Adobe Flash support has been removed from the browser. For enterprise environments, several bug fixes and new Firefox 85 policies have been implemented. The release notes also mention 12 closed security vulnerabilities in Firefox 85, which are described here.

Firefox 78.7.0 esr

An update to Firefox 78.7.0 esr has also been provided with one year of long-term support with the same vulnerability fixed. Firefox 85.0.0 and 78.7.0 ESR can be downloaded from this web page (choose the variant from the list boxes shown). The updates are also available for direct download.  


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