Mozilla patches 11 serious bugs in older Firefox 3

Support clock's ticking; security updates for Firefox 3 to continue until January

Mozilla yesterday patched 11 vulnerabilities, 10 of them critical, in Firefox 3.0, the browser that has another few months to live.

The update to Firefox 3.0.12 was the first since Mozilla launched the brand-new Firefox 3.5 at the end of June. As is its practice, Mozilla will discontinue support and stop security updates for the older edition approximately six months after the release of 3.5. It has set Firefox 3.0's "kill date" as sometime in January 2010.

Of the 11 flaws fixed in Firefox 3.0.12 -- the same number patched in the previous security update -- 10 were rated critical and one as "high" in Mozilla's four-step system. Danish bug tracker Secunia ranked the bunch as "highly critical," it's second-from-the-top tag.

Five of the 11 vulnerabilities are in the browser's rendering engine, a frequent target of Mozilla's patching. "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," said Mozilla in the accompanying advisory. It urged users to disable JavaScript if Firefox could not be immediately updated to 3.0.12.

Mozilla also patched critical vulnerabilities in Firefox's use of Adobe Flash, in open-source font-rendering libraries and in several other parts of the browser.

Eight of the 11 vulnerabilities patched Tuesday have already been addressed in the original version of Firefox 3.5, or the update to 3.5.1. that Mozilla rushed out last week to quash a zero-day bug.

It's not unheard of for Mozilla to patch one version of its browser while leaving another temporarily vulnerable. When the company has done that, it has patched the newest edition first, then backtracked to update the older version later, as it did in this case.

Mozilla plans to update Firefox 3.5 again -- later this month or early in August -- with the patches it had originally scheduled for 3.5.1. "[The] goal of this release should be a quick-turnaround [with] topcrash [and] security/stability patches," Mozilla said in notes published after a weekly status meeting.

Firefox 3.0.12 can be downloaded for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux, but current users can also call up their browser's built-in updater or wait for the automatic update notification, which should pop up in the next 48 hours.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags mozilla 3firefox 3.0exploits and vulnerabilitiesmozilla firefox

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

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

Gregg Keizer

Computerworld
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?