Private browsing bug fixed in Firefox 15.0.1

Mozilla has updated its latest version of Firefox after sites visited while in Private Browsing mode were stored in the browser's cache.

Firefox 15.0.1 patches a bug that enables 'Private Browsing' data to be recorded. Zack Whittaker/CNET

Browser maker Mozilla has patched a bug in the latest major version of Firefox that could have exposed the websites of those using the "Private Browsing" mode.

"Private Browsing," a feature implemented in most modern browsers, allows users to browse the Web without leaving any trace of the websites visited on the user's computer.

But shortly after the latest Firefox release was dished out to end-users, a bug report was filed to claim that any site visited while in the privacy-conscious mode "could be found through manual browser cache inspection," according to Mozilla's bug-reporting site Bugzilla.

Website addresses, page images, search queries, passwords and cookies -- known as cached content -- were stored by Firefox 15 when the browser privacy mode was enabled. This allowed anyone with access to the cached content to determine which websites were visited even in the "Private Browsing" mode, potentially exposing a user's privacy.

While Firefox 15.0.1 will no longer add "Private Browsing" data to the cache, any existing files stored in the cache will remain. Users upgrading to the new browser should clear their Internet history and browsing data as soon as the new Firefox 15.0.1 version is installed.

Firefox 15 was first released on August 28 to include silent, background updates, support for the SPDY (version 3) open network protocol, and enhanced WebGL features for better graphics performance.

The latest browser version is available for Windows, OS X, and Linux.

 

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