We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
80,259 News Articles

Mozilla patches flaws in Firefox 3.6 and 3.5

Nine of the 16 bugs labelled as critical

Mozilla has patched 16 vulnerabilities, nine of them critical, in its Firefox 3.6 web browser, making it the largest update for the open-source browser since March.

At the same time, the company patched 12 flaws in the older Firefox 3.5.

More than half - nine out of 16 - of the vulnerabilities in Firefox 3.6 were rated 'critical', Mozilla's highest threat ranking, indicating that hackers may be able to use them to compromise a system running Firefox, then plant other malware on the machine. Of the remainder, two were pegged as 'high' risks, while the other five were labeled as 'moderate'.

Five of the vulnerabilities were reported to Mozilla by HP TippingPoint's Zero Day Initiative (ZDI), one of the two leading commercial bug bounty programs, while two were handed to Mozilla's developers by researchers who work for Google.

Earlier this month, Mozilla had said it was planning to ship Firefox patches before the annual Black Hat security conference, which is slated to start next week in Las Vegas. The company did the same last year, when it refreshed Firefox 3.0 with an 11-patch update just days before 2009's edition of the conference kicked off.

Mozilla currently has plans to produce another Firefox update after Black Hat, presumably to fix any flaws researchers disclose at the popular conference.

Software makers, especially browser developers, occasionally try to preempt potential security conference disclosures with updates. Prior to last March's CanSecWest, a Vancouver, British Columbia conference that features the Pwn2Own hacking contest, Google and Apple updated their Chrome and Safari browsers to fix several flaws.

Among the flaws fixed yesterday were two in the Firefox 3.6 rendering engine, one that could be exploited by posting malicious PNG images on sites, and two that might trick users into thinking they're at a trusted site when they actually are not.

Mozilla upgraded Firefox less than a week after it boosted bug bounties six-fold, to $3,000 (£1,900) for each vulnerability rated critical or high.

Unlike Google, which spells out the bounties it pays researchers in its security advisories, Mozilla does not spotlight the vulnerabilities it's bought. According to the criteria it laid out last week, however, Mozilla may have spent as much as $21,000 for seven of the flaws it fixed with this patch.

Users can update to Firefox 3.6.7 by downloading the new edition or by selecting 'Check for Updates' from the Help menu in the browser. Firefox 3.5 users can obtain the patched version 3.5.11 by calling up the integrated update tool.

See also: Dell launches super secure version of Firefox


IDG UK Sites

Microsoft Band UK release date and price rumours, features and specs: Microsoft smartwatch unveiled

IDG UK Sites

Why Sony's PS4 2.0 update is every gamer's dream (well, mine at least)

IDG UK Sites

This Grolsch ad combines stop-motion & CG for majestic results

IDG UK Sites

Apple rumours and predictions for 2015: What to expect from Apple in 2015