What is the cache partitioning system in Firefox 85 and how does it work?

Version 85 of the Mozilla Firefox browser Firefox is set to be officially released in the first month of next year. This version of Firefox better protects the privacy of users on the web space through improvements made to the cache partitioning system.

In many news media, the Mozilla Firefox cache partitioning system is confused with network partitioning. Probably the main reason for this error is related to one of the Firefox flags called privacy.partition.network_state. This flag allows professional users to enable or disable the cache splitting feature as they wish.

What is cache partitioning and what does it matter?

In simple terms, cache partitioning is the process by which the caches provided to websites are separated and a so-called cache is defined for each website based on the requests that the website registers. Normally cached files are used on multiple websites so that the browser does not have to download the files to load each page from scratch; But the cache partitioning system prevents this from happening.

If your browser has a normal cache system, you will see the following behavior:

1) The user enters the website https://www.zoomit.ir.

2) Numerous different resources are loaded and stored in the cache, including something like https://zoomit.ir/logo.jpg.

3) The user enters the website https://www.zoomg.ir.

4) In a hidden

tag, the zoomg website loads the address https://zoomit.ir/logo.jpg.

5) The zoomg website uses JavaScript elements to figure out how long it takes the user’s browser to render the logo.jpg.

6) Since https://zoomit.ir/logo.jpg is stored in the cache, it renders in less than five milliseconds.

7) The zoomg website now knows that the user has recently visited https://www.zoomit.ir; Because if logo.jpg was not in the cache, it would take longer to render in the browser.

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The above conditions do not occur when using the cache partitioning system. In the split cache, a copy of https://zoomit.ir/logo.jpg that is downloaded when the user visits the zoomit website and then saved in the cache is not available when the zoomg website is visited. Since the cache dedicated to the zoomg website does not contain the logo.jpg file, it must be uploaded directly; Whether it is in the cache dedicated to the zoomit website or not.

What we have said can be a very simple definition of cyber attacks Timing Attack Cache-centric, which happens on a regular basis. More sophisticated cyberattacks may focus on elements that indicate that the user is logged in at that particular moment on the target website. However in the Timing Attack attacks, the user has just been on the website and is no longer present.

In some cases, the target website may be able to extract cache records, which allows it to understand how long it takes for the records in question to reappear, which means that the website has access to more data than the user’s activity.

What we said may be a little complicated for users who do not know much about cache. If you want to learn more about cache partitioning system, you can log in This page is on the GateHub website Become.

The main problem with cache segmentation

Some resources are used legally and almost universally in the web world, in thousands or even millions of websites. For example, we can refer to fonts that are placed on websites through services such as Google Fonts.

If you use a normal cache system, zoomit.ir may be a copy of the font Upload Roboto via fonts.google.com. When you open other websites such as zoomg.ir or kojaro.com that have the same type of font, the browser raises the font through its cache and does not need to be reloaded.

In case of using a divided cache, a copy of the Roboto font belonging to zoomit.ir is provided only in zoomit.ir, and when the user enters the zoomg.ir or kojaro.com website, the process of downloading and saving Roboto in memory Cache is done separately.

Firefox 85 will partition which partition of the cache

As ZDNet writes that the resources in the table below will be automatically split when the privacy.partition.network_state flag is enabled.

Resources affected by the cache partitioning system in Firefox 85
HTTP Cache
Image Cache
Favicon Cache
Connection Pooling
StyleSheet Cache
DNS
HTTP Authentication
Alt-Svc
Speculative Connections
Font Cache
HTTP Strict Transport Security (called HSTS)
Online Certificate Status Protocol (OCSP)
Intermediate CA Cache
TLS Client Certificates
TLS Session Identifiers
Prefetch
Preconnect
CORS-preflight Cache
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Keep in mind that Mozilla does not intend to partition all the cache sections through a single update, and the partitioning process will take place over time. Apple started the Safari browser cache partitioning process in 2013 and has since strengthened and improved the cache partitioning system. With the release of Chrome 86, Google has expanded its cache distribution system Apply HTTP and extends the system to other parts over time.

Currently, Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge are the only mainstream browsers that continue to emphasize the use of regular caching. Of course, in the not-too-distant future, with Chrome upgrades and Edge using a newer version of Chromium, this browser will be equipped with a cache partition system by default.

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