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by Dave Gradijan

Mozilla Fixes QuickTime Flaw in Firefox

Sep 19, 20072 mins
Build AutomationCSO and CISO

Mozilla Corp. has fixed a critical bug in the way the Firefox browser works with QuickTime media files.

The flaw, which was reported last week by hacker Petko Petkov, givesattackers a way to run unauthorized commands on a victim’s PC. “Thiscould be used to install malware, steal local data, or otherwisecorrupt the victim’s computer,” Mozilla said in a security advisorypublished Tuesday.

A July 2007 patch was supposed to take care of this type of problem,but Petkov showed how attackers could still run commands on a victim’ssystem by tricking a victim into opening a maliciously coded QuickTimemedia file.

In fact, until Apple addresses the underlying flaw in QuickTime, therestill could be headaches for users, Mozilla said in its securityadvisory on the issue. “QuickTime Media-link files could still be usedto annoy users with popup windows and dialogs until this issue is fixedin QuickTime,” the advisory states.

The common security measure of disabling JavaScript does not preventthis attack, although the NoScript Firefox add-on does provideprotection, Mozilla said.

“Petkov provided proof of concept code that may be easily convertedinto an exploit, so users should consider this a very serious issue,”Mozilla’s security chief, Window Snyder said in a recent blog posting.Mozilla has been able to reproduce this bug only on the Windowsoperating system, she added.

The flaw also affects the Internet Explorer browser, Petkov said on hisblog. However, IE’s security policies make the flaw less critical onMicrosoft’s browser, he added.

The Firefox update was pushed out to users starting around 3p.m. Pacific Time on Tuesday. It contains only one security update: theQuickTime fix.

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