Mozilla discloses more Firefox flaws

Information on some unpatched vulnerabilities now available to the public

Mozilla patched more than one vulnerability in Firefox when it updated the browser to version 3.6.2 on Monday, the company confirmed today.

A total of 10 flaws were fixed in Firefox 3.6.2, according to Mozilla's security advisory page , but details of at least three that also affect the older Firefox 3.0 and Firefox 3.5 browsers have been released before the company has patched those versions. Mozilla is scheduled to ship the updates, Firefox 3.0.19 and Firefox 3.5.9, next Monday, March 30.

Mozilla accelerated the release of Firefox 3.6.2 because a Russian researcher had announced a critical vulnerability in how the browser decodes the Web Open Font Format (WOFF), a Web-based font standard. Only Firefox 3.6 supports WOFF.

However, four of the vulnerabilities already patched in Firefox 3.6.2 also apply to older editions of the browser. One of the 10 fixed flaws that Mozilla ranked as "low" in its four step scoring system, one tagged as "high" and two marked as "critical," also affect the unpatched Firefox 3.0 and 3.5.

Technical details of three of the four vulnerabilities -- the one rated low and the two ranked critical -- are available on Mozilla's Bugzilla change- and bug-tracking database. Information on the bug rated high has been blocked, however, and cannot be viewed by the public.

"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," Mozilla stated in the advisory accompanying the two critical bugs that also affect older, as-yet unpatched, versions of Firefox.

Typically, software makers omit information, or restrict access to that information, until patches have been released, knowing that attackers might be able to use the details to craft exploits that would put users at risk.

Information on some vulnerabilities will not be published until next week, Mozilla said.

Mozilla has rushed out fixes before, although -- like rival browser maker Microsoft -- it does so rarely. Last March, for example, Mozilla updated Firefox 3.0 to patch a pair of vulnerabilities, including one that had been used the week before by a German college student to hack the browser and take home $5,000 for his efforts at the Pwn2Own contest.

The bug quashed Monday -- and for a day, the only one for which information was published -- was disclosed by Russian researcher Evgeny Legerov in February. Initially, Legerov refused to provide proof of his exploit claims to Mozilla, prompting some to question his motives or wonder whether it was a hoax. According to Mozilla's Bugzilla change- and bug-tracking database, Legerov finally verified the vulnerability with the company's developers on March 13.

Mozilla has been under pressure to provide a patch. Last Friday, for instance, the German government's computer security agency urged users to abandon Firefox until a fix is available. Buerger-CERT, part of the Federal Office for Security in Information Technology, which is known by its German initials of BSI, retracted that recommendation yesterday, after Mozilla released Firefox 3.6.2.

Later today, Firefox -- as well as Microsoft's Internet Explorer, Google 's Chrome and Apple 's Safari -- will face several notable hackers at Pwn2Own, a contest that pits researchers against four notebooks running the browsers. Among those eager to go for the $5,000 cash prizes are two former winners, including a German college student who successfully exploited Firefox last year.

Next week's Firefox 3.0.19 will be the last security update for the 2008 browser, Mozilla has announced previously. Users running that edition have been urged to update to Firefox 3.6.

In other news from Mozilla, the company will probably ship "Lorentz" with the next iteration of its standard Firefox security releases, Firefox 3.5.10 and Firefox 3.6.3. Lorentz is the codename for an in-place upgrade that will add several features to the browser. The most notable change will be to separate external plug-ins, such as Adobe's Flash, from Firefox's other processes so that if the plug-in crashes, the browser won't follow suit.

Mozilla has not set a release timetable for the release of Firefox 3.5.10 and Firefox 3.6.3.

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 mozilla firefox

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

Gregg Keizer

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2019

This Holiday Season, protect yourself and your loved ones with the best. Buy now for Holiday Savings!

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

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!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

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.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?