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Firefox 48 will be more resilient to media attacks thanks to new Rust code

By Shawn Knight ยท 5 replies
Jul 13, 2016
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  1. Mozilla has announced that it will soon ship a version of Firefox that replaces an original C++ component with one developed using Rust, a programming language backed by Mozilla.

    Dave Herman, Principal Researcher and Director of Strategy at Mozilla Research, explains that the first Rust component – a media parser – will ship in Firefox 48 for desktops (an Android version is coming soon, we’re told).

    Created by Ralph Giles and Matthew Gregan, the element is memory-safe and thus, won’t be susceptible to the types of attacks that trick decoders into exposing dangerous security vulnerabilities that exploit memory management bugs in browsers’ implementation code.

    In their preliminary measurements, Herman said the Rust component is delivering identical performance results compared to the original C++ code.

    As CNET points out, Mozilla isn’t the only entity using Rust as both Dropbox and OpenDNS utilize it. That said, Mozilla is its highest-profile project considering the code will ship to hundreds of millions of Firefox users come August. Those that want to give the technology a shot now can try the Servo Nightly build.

    Herman said seeing Rust code ship in a Mozilla product feels like the culmination of a long journey but in reality, it’s only the first step for Mozilla. He also encourages anyone that’s interested in Rust to get involved and help out with the Mozilla project.

    Permalink to story.

  2. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 3,049   +1,384

    Maybe they should work on fixing stupidly high resource usage and broken inconsistencies In loading webpages. I finally had to abandon ship.
  3. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,720   +1,135

    With what you are complaining... What did you switch to?? Chrome? lol

    Probably too many addons or scripts, I'm a long time firefox user and never experienced anything similar, although I try to run it as vanilla as I can. When I activated flash I saw that issue, then uninstalled and never looked back.
  4. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 3,049   +1,384

    yeah chrome, against my better judgement.
    I used literally 0 scripts or addons. It was completely vanilla. It always used more ram depending on how much ram was available on the machine and it was always way too much ram, and CPU usage was always far higher than chrome is too.

    On top of that, I was having issues with websites not functioning the way they were supposed to, which was the final straw. Have that issue with no other browser and tried every imagineable trick via hours of browsing to fix it, reinstalled browser with all content deleted, ETC. Problem persists across several PCs and through OS reinstalls.
  5. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,720   +1,135

    That is super odd, to me it was Flash eating resources like crazy, ended up uninstalling
  6. robb213

    robb213 TS Maniac Posts: 341   +108

    I'm surprised Chrome was actually less for you. It often seems to be on par with the high memory usage of Firefox.

    Although been using it since Firefox 4 and never noticed any page inconsistencies, especially with all my config tweaks, add-ons, and a few scripts.

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