• United States



by Paul Kerstein

New Firefox 1.0.7 Release Fixes Security Bugs

Sep 21, 20052 mins
CSO and CISOData and Information Security

The Mozilla Foundation has released a new version of its Firefoxbrowser that contains fixes for two critical security bugs in thesoftware that were reported over the past week.

The most widely reported flaw concerns the IDN (International DomainName) feature that Mozilla products use to process Web pages that donot use the Latin alphabet.

Links pointing to a host with a long name composed entirely of dashescan be crafted so that earlier versions of Firefox will executearbitrary code of an attacker’s choosing. This means that an attackertheoretically could use the flaw to take control of a user’s machine,by launching what is called a buffer overflow attack.

Firefox 1.0.7, which was released Wednesday morning, also fixes acritical flaw in the way the Mozilla software handles Unix and Linuxshell commands that could allow attackers to run unauthorized softwareon some systems, said Chris Beard, head of products with Mozilla Corp.

All Firefox users are encouraged to download the new release, whichalso contains a number of minor changes designed to make the browsermore stable and secure, Beard said.

The IDN bug was discovered by security researcher Tom Ferris and madepublic via a posting to the Full Disclosure security mailing list lastFriday. By the end of the day, Mozilla had published a workaround,which disabled the IDN feature. With the 1.0.7 release, this problemhas now been rectified, Beard said.

Mozilla is planning a similar update for its Mozilla Suite browser,Beard said. That software is expected to be released by week’s end.

By Robert McMillan – IDG News Service (San Francisco Bureau)