Mozilla security chief on protecting Firefox users

Window Snyder says browser vendors must work together -- and not blame users

We got the fix out there, but that wasn't enough. We've got multiple applications so when you pass data from one application to the next, the application looks at the data like it's coming form the local operating system, but it came from the Internet. You can make it look like the content came from a relatively safe place. We got the fix out there but that wasn't enough ... because the other vendors need to create a fix for the other end of the problem. It's hard when multiple vendors are involved. Users might think Firefox shipped a fix and everything is fine, but ... they need Microsoft to ship a fix for Windows and IE.

How difficult is it for different companies to work together on problems like this?

It's difficult but in the end we all want the same thing, which is to protect our users. Once we understand the technical issues, it's just a matter of individuals doing the right thing for our users. I really do believe we all have that in mind.

Last summer, some people were accusing both sides -- Mozilla and Microsoft -- of finger-pointing instead of working together. Was that a problem?

I think what other people might interpret as finger-pointing is people trying to demonstrate that just because we fixed a part of it, it's not all fixed. A lot of what is really technical discussion of a problem is interpreted as finger-pointing. I did see a lot of technical information interpreted as finger-pointing. It's sensational and fun to read, but it's not really what's going on.

What's the most exciting technology on the horizon?

Oh, I'm excited about everything mobile. We're building a browser for mobile devices. In my personal life, I'm excited every time an application is out for my BlackBerry. I never would have thought I need to go into Twitter, but I do. It's a nice way to stay in touch with your friends. I love being in a new city and being able to look for a vegan restaurant and then find it on Google maps. That kind of stuff is incredible to me. I'm just so excited about the mobile space.

And finally, how did you get the name Window?

There's no story. I need to come up with a story. It's unfortunate because everyone wants to know ... and there's just nothing.

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Sharon Gaudin

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