Thursday, March 17, 2011

Run firefox in a sandbox for more security

Why run Firefox or other programs in a sandbox? In the Firefox example, there are many components running: Java, Flash, and third-party plugins. All of these can open vulnerabilities due to bugs and malicious code; under certain circumstances these components can run anything on your computer and can access, modify, and delete your files. It’s nice to know that when such vulnerabilities are exploited, these components can only see and access a limited subset of your files.

For example, to build a sandbox for Firefox and start Firefox running in the sandbox, close all running windows of Firefox, then:

sudo sandfox firefox
Sandfox has a default profile for Firefox, so it will automatically load that profile. The profile tells Sandfox how to build a sandbox which provides the system and user folders that Firefox requires. (For full functionality of your version of Firefox, you may want to edit this profile to add more folders and files. The profile is stored in /etc/sandfox/firefox.profile.

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