Steam Deck’s web browser desperately needs an update

The Steam Deck screen showing the Firefox web browser logo cracked in half.

Screenshots: Van / Mozilla / Kotaku

As reported by Play games on Linuxand chat about Reddit, the Steam Deck has had a bit of a security issue with its rather heavily outdated version of Firefox. Valve is said to have promised a fix, but it won’t arrive until the next SteamOS update. That is less than ideal.

The current version of the popular non-chromium browser is 102.0.1, while SteamOS has a six-month-old version of 96.0.3. You don’t have to be a regular Def Con hacking conference to know that you shouldn’t be running around with an outdated web browser, especially one you use to store passwords, oh, I don’t know , social networking media sites, banking website, or even Steam itself. (By the way: Don’t store passwords in your browser. That’s what password managers do.)

Valve’s last major SteamOS update arrived on May 26, with regular customer updates in the weeks that followed. However, there are no updates to Firefox’s January update. There’s also a beta for the next OS update, but you’ll have to select that update and it’s not a finished build. That beta doesn’t update Firefox either, and switching to the beta of an operating system is often a good way to improve one’s security posture.

Kotaku Have reached out to Valve for comment.

While drawing on this particular issue too much can make a mountain difficult (to be fair, I’m not a security expert), it does present a real challenge to the game. play SteamOS and Linux in general.

Since most recently Steam hardware and software survey results, Linux users make up only 1.18% of the Steam population. A very small number for sure, but that number is growing with the growing popularity of the Linux-based Steam Deck. People who normally run Linux operating systems are more likely to keep them safe, but what happens when the population of SteamOS grows to the point where it becomes an attractive target for exploits and malware distribution? And with the Steam Deck being advertised to the general public and not just hackers, the “dos and don’ts” for keeping a Linux machine secure will become even more important.

If you have a Windows background, the way Linux handles application installs can seem odd, with terms like “Flatpak”, “Snap” and “repository” flying all over the place. Linux has its own way of working, and it’s a bit more complicated than double-clicking the setup.exe file. Nor is there a “Linux Defender” always ready to ask you “are you sure you want to install this?” The Steam Deck’s “desktop mode” may look similar to Windows or macOS, and I trust Valve has prioritized security, but adds to the wrong repository by taking random commands from the internet to do it. Simple things like getting the Epic Games Store or GOG games to show up in Steam can easily get you in trouble if you’re not 100% sure how to keep your machine safe.

For many people, the Steam Deck may not only be their first Linux gaming device, but also their first experience with the Linux era (Android doesn’t count). As the Steam Deck and SteamOS continue to gain popularity, many will be more interested in getting their games running properly with as little hassle as possible than learning how to safely manage the Linux operating system right from the start. head. Currently, most”fuzzy chicken Linux gaming question“Answered by generous, helpful enthusiasts, not bad actors. But it’s not hard to imagine someone with bad intentions and knowledge of how to exploit situations like outdated software stepping in to take advantage of users who don’t know, for example, the dangers of running malicious software. random script.

Consoles are a locked down gaming environment for many reasons, but security is definitely the most important of them all. And while Windows security can certainly be compromised, most of us assume that Windows Defender will save us from total disaster. And it usually does. Valve can be correct by development all on Linux for the future of gaming, but the security challenges will only increase as the Steam Deck becomes more and more popular. Going forward, Valve would be wise to do their best to always put security first, and that will require more timely updates to patch potentially critical vulnerabilities as the user base grows. Their use grows large enough to attract nefarious interests.

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