Mozilla patches six Firefox bugs

Mozilla has patched its flagship Firefox browser with fixes for six vulnerabilities, one of which was stamped "critical" by the open source developer.

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Mozilla has patched its flagship Firefox browser with fixes for six vulnerabilities, one of which was stamped "critical" by the open source developer.

This was the third time Mozilla has updated Firefox in 2007. The updates bring the current browser to Version 2.0.0.4, and the 2005 edition to 1.5.0.12.

The most comprehensive patch - MFSA 2007-12 - fixed 30 separate memory corruption bugs in Firefox's browser layout and JavaScript engines. Even Mozilla seemed unsure of their impact. "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," an advisory notice said.

Mozilla warned that the Thunderbird and SeaMonkey email software, which shares Firefox's layout engine, may be vulnerable to the bugs as well. The developers recommend that users do not enable JavaScript in Thunderbird or the mail portion of SeaMonkey.

The updates also fix a pop-up bug that could be used to mask parts of the browser, such as the address bar; a cross-site scripting vulnerability; a problem with how the browsers handle cookies; and a flaw that could let attackers crash Firefox using its auto complete feature.

Firefox 2.0.0.4 can be downloaded from the Mozilla web site for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. Firefox 1.5.0.12 is available from a different page. Current users can also update using the Check for Updates command in the help menu.

Mozilla also reiterated that the patches would be Firefox 1.5's last, and said that an update to Firefox 2.0.0.4 would be offered to its users "over the coming weeks".

Although Firefox ended 2006 upbeat according to Symantec – the anti-virus vendor tallied 40 patches in the last six months of the year, 26% fewer than the 54 released for rival browser Internet Explorer - so far this year, Mozilla has addressed more than twice as many vulnerabilities as Internet Explorer. In the first five months of 2007, 22 bugs in Firefox have been patched, 9 of which were pegged as critical. Microsoft has fixed only 8 in Internet Explorer 7 were labelled critical.

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