Mozilla patches eight Firefox bugs, six critical

It also bumps up version number for next update to Firefox 3.5.

Mozilla Corp. has patched eight security vulnerabilities in Firefox, half of them critical memory corruption flaws in the browser's layout and JavaScript engines.

Firefox 3.0.7, the second security update this year to the open-source browser, fixes about the same number of bugs that Mozilla patched a month ago.

Of the eight vulnerabilities, six were rated "critical," one "high" and one "low" in Mozilla's four-step ranking system. The six critical bugs are in Firefox's garbage collection routine, in the PNG libraries used by the browser, and in the layout and JavaScript engines.

Mozilla was uncertain whether the four vulnerabilities patched in the layout and JavaScript engines could be exploited, but assumed as much. "Some of these crashes showed evidence of memory corruption under certain circumstances and we presume that with enough effort at least some of these could be exploited to run arbitrary code," the accompanying advisory read.

Other patches plug holes that could be used by hackers to steal private information and spoof URLs to trick users into thinking they're at a legitimate site.

Mozilla also addressed several non-security issues in Firefox 3.0.7, including unspecified stability problems, a bug that caused some browser cookies to mysteriously vanish, and a Mac-only flaw associated with the Flashblock add-on.

Mozilla Messaging Inc.'s Thunderbird e-mail client, which uses the Firefox rendering engine for JavaScript and other functionality, was not patched today, although six of the eight vulnerabilities also affect it. Until Thunderbird is updated with those fixes -- mid-month is the latest estimate for Thunderbird 2.0.0.21 -- users can protect themselves by disabling JavaScript, said Mozilla. By default, the e-mail application has JavaScript switched off.

The new version of Firefox can be downloaded for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux from the Mozilla site. Current users can also call up their browser's built-in updater, or wait for the automatic update notification, which typically pops up within 48 hours.

In other Firefox-related news, Mozilla today said that it would change the version number of the next major update from Firefox 3.1 -- the moniker used since May, when the company first announced the upgrade -- to Firefox 3.5.

The change, which had been suggested by several developers, will "indicate [the] increased scope" of the update, according to meeting notes posted online today.

Last week, one developer called on Mozilla to bump up the version number. "That way we would more clearly communicate to users that this isn't just a minor update but a major step forward," said Simon Paquet.

Mozilla also modified the schedule for Firefox 3.1 Beta 3 -- it is too late in the process to change the beta to 3.5 -- today, pushing back the ship date for the oft-delayed preview from an earlier estimate of March 10 to March 12.

Firefox holds a 22% market share, according to browser data from Web metrics company Net Applications.

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.

Tags Firefox

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Gregg Keizer

Gregg Keizer

Computerworld
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?