Firefox Fans Play Defense
Respond to new wave of criticism
What started with an increase in pop-unders, a java vulnerability, and comments
from one Firefox developer on a manpower shortage, have evolved into a steady stream of "Honeymoon is over"
Firefox articles from major outlets (Information week
, IT Observer
). Many of them cling to a recent Symantec study that claims Firefox had more vulnerabilities than IE from July to December of last year. MacNewsWorld
even goes so far as to claim Mozilla browsers could make Mac fans vulnerable to security threats they rarely face.
The new criticisms have Firefox advocates at MozillaZine
defending their security claims; CNET
explores how volunteer marketers are being forced into damage control. Are the concerns valid, or is this an inevitable backlash to what has become an amazing (approaching 50 million downloads) open source software phenomenon?
95 comments .. click to read
I think it largely boils down to the maturity of the product, Firefox in this case. As young as Firefox is it will inevitably have serious flaws. One of the benefits of open source development is that hundreds and thousands of talented sets of eyes mull over Firefox everyday looking for these flaws. People find them, submit them, and in many cases help fix them.
Conversely, how mature is IE? Such a highly stable and mature product, yet we still see critical vulnerabilities at the same level as Firefox. We also see the continual exploitation of IE's ActiveX component to install malicious software without consent from the user. Firefox has to date shown no vulnerability to this.
Both products have their problems, and yes early adopters like us often get burned. Sticking with Firefox, however, is likely to help everyone in th long-run as it forces ALL browser developers to create a more stable and secure product. Competition is a very good thing.
Search first, ask questions later.