Firefox Aurora slightly tightens security

The latest developer's build of Firefox locks down security a bit and debuts new APIs to help the browser become more gamer-friendly.

Following the release of Firefox 12 earlier this week, Mozilla's latest browser build for developers shows off some new security tweaks and implements some game-centric APIs.

Firefox 14 Aurora (download for Windows, for the Mac, and for Linux) also brings native full-screen support to Macs, and the location bar can finally autocomplete URLs.

The security tweaks involve some minor interface adjustments. The Site Identity Manager, which is the block of color on the left of the location bar, has been changed so that it's easier to understand. Going forward, gray globe will be the default icon for a site sent over an unencrypted connection or a site encrypted with HTTPS that include some content (like ads) that come from unencrypted servers. When a page and its content come from encrypted servers, and the server uses a standard "CV" certificate, the gray globe changes to a gray lock icon. The highest level of site security Mozilla recognizes in the Site Identity Manager changes the lock icon to green, and kicks in when a page and its content come from encrypted servers, and the server uses an extended validation certificate.


The green lock icon on the left is how you can tell when you're on a site with the highest level of security. (Credit: Mozilla)


Two other security adjustments force all Google searches to default to HTTPS, and make plug-in loading optional. This gives you the option of making plug-ins like Adobe Flash and Apple QuickTime click-to-use. To implement it at this point, though, you'll have to go to about:config and change plugins.click_to_play to True.

The Windows version of this build also sees the implementation of new navigation buttons, first noted in the Australis redesign project. Meanwhile, people on OS X 10.7 Lion will finally get integration with the native Mac full-screen button.

Game developers now see Firefox work with the Pointer Lock API and the Wake Lock API. These prevent the mouse from leaving the game window, and prevent the screen saver from starting in a game, respectively.

You can read the full list of changes in Firefox 14 Aurora here.