New for Chrome and Firefox users

According to Steve Gibson on the Security Now! podcast (show notes and more information can be found at there is news for Chrome and Firefox users:

For Windows users, Chrome recently jumped to version 103.0.5060.114 in order to fix a 0-day vulnerability which was already being exploited by hackers in the wild. Given that bugs are inevitable, you might be pleased that this was reported, and fixed, over the US 4th July holiday weekend.

Firefox have released version 102 which includes a new privacy-enhancing feature which automatically strips known tracking url parameters from web addresses. If you have not seen this before, let me explain:

One of the (many) ways that Facebook tries to track you across the internet, is to append parameters to a url address, such as

https : //www. facebook. com/{blah-blah-blah}?fbclid=IwAR4HesRZLT-fxhhh3nZ7WKsOpaiFzsg4nH0K4WLRHw1h467GdRjaLilWbLs

spaces added as this is not a real url but just an example

The data after the ?fbclid= parameter is used to ‘close the loop’ so Facebook can track where you came from.

From version 102, Firefox will by default remove any parameters beginning in this way, plus other popular trackers as listed in the show notes. Interestingly, the default is not to do this for private browsing, but you can set it yourself if you are happy changing Firefox parameters; just search for ‘query_strip’ in ‘about:config’ (if that doesn’t mean anything, please ask whoever provides your IT support).