Firefox advocacy site hacked again

The Spread Firefox marketing Web site has been taken down due to an attack for the second time in three months.

For the second time in three months, a security breach has shut down the marketing Web site used to promote the Firefox browser. Late Monday, members of the Spread Firefox community were notified that their Spreadfirefox.com site had been hit by attackers looking to exploit a bug in the TWiki collaboration software, which had been running on the server.

The Mozilla Foundation does not believe that any sensitive information was compromised in the attack, but it is encouraging the approximately 100,000 Spread Firefox members to reset their passwords. "With these things it's hard to determine the exact nature of what happened," said Mike Schroepfer, director of engineering with the Foundation's Mozilla subsidiary. "We don't believe that people were successful in getting any of that personal or sensitive information, but we're erring on the side of caution."

Spread Firefox is best known as the organization that raised more than US$200,000 to run a two-page Firefox ad in The New York Times last year.

In July of 2005, attackers were able to gain access to the Spread Firefox server, apparently for the purpose of sending spam. That attack compromised information such as member e-mail addresses, instant messaging names, street addresses and birthdays.

After the July attack, the Mozilla Foundation changed procedures to be sure that security fixes were applied to the Spread Firefox server software, but administrators overlooked the TWiki application, which was no longer being used, Schroepfer said. "This one particular piece of software was an oversight and happened to not get updated," he said.

The Mozilla team discovered the attack over the past weekend, but it appears to have been launched several weeks earlier. "The vulnerability on the TWiki software was announced on the 15th of September," Schroepfer said. "It looked like the first few attempts happened within 12 to 36 hours of those announcements going out."

Administrators will spend the next few weeks rebuilding Spreadfirefox.com, and the site is expected to be back online around Oct. 15, according to the Mozilla Foundation.

Once widely considered a more secure alternative to Microsoft's Internet Explorer (IE) browser, Firefox has seen its reputation decline of late. Last month, security vendor Symantec reported that the Firefox browser had more confirmed security vulnerabilities than IE during the first half of 2005.

Firefox countered that it ended up with a larger number of vulnerabilities -- 25 as opposed to Microsoft's 13 -- because Microsoft tends to roll a number of bugs into one vulnerability report.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Robert McMillan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?