If you are running Firefox Stable on Windows machines, you may have noticed that the browser did not receive the update to version 48 up until now.
Mozilla released Firefox 48 on August 2 for all platforms, but stopped distribution of the new version for Windows shortly thereafter.
Mozilla's reason for stopping the distribution of Firefox 48 for Windows was an incompatibility of the program version with Websense products. The product mentioned explicitly in the context is Websense Endpoint.
The organization published two bug fix releases for Firefox 48 to resolve the issue, but users were still reporting issues after installing the latest Firefox 48 version if Websense was installed on the computer as well.
The main issue for non-Websense users of Firefox was that their version of the browser was stuck at an earlier version. Mozilla fixed several security issues in Firefox 47. Not upgrading Firefox to version 48.x meant that the browser remained vulnerable to those security issues.
The only way around the issue was to download and install the latest stable version of the Firefox web browser manually on Windows.
This is going to change soon. Mozilla plans to push a hotfix add-on to previous stable versions of Firefox on Windows that determines whether Websense is installed on the system. If it is not, updates will be enabled and Firefox 48.0.2 will be installed on the user system.
The hotfix checks for the following files on Windows:
If Websense is not present, the update url will be modified, so that the update can be downloaded and installed.
Mozilla has not found a solution yet to patch the Websense issue that is affecting Firefox. According to the organization, Websense is also working on a solution for the issue.
Firefox users who don't want to wait for the Hotfix to be deployed to their system may download it from Mozilla's official add-ons repository.
The best option for Firefox Stable on Windows machines without Websense is to download and install the latest stable version manually.
You may wait for the hotfix to be deployed on your system, or install it manually, but that process will likely take longer than simply downloading Firefox Stable and installing it to upgrade the current installation.
It would have made sense for Mozilla to inform Firefox users on Windows about the issue, especially that the majority may upgrade Firefox manually to version 48. (via Sören)
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