First Maintenance Update for Firefox 3

Jul 17, 2008

Mozilla has just released version 3.0.1 of the Firefox browser; the first maintenance update removes a couple of vulnerabilities and fixes a some minor bugs.

The Mozilla developers closed down three security holes, one of which only affected Mac OS X systems. All three are classified as critical by the Mozilla Security Advisories. Mozilla did not disclose whether the vulnerabilities were the ones revealed shortly after the final release of thenext generation browser.

The first bug affected the browser rendering engine's CSS functions. Potential attackers could use a rogue website to exploit the vulnerability and run arbitrary code. This assumed that JavaScript was enabled.

The second vulnerability allowed attackers to open web pages in tabs via the command line despite the fact that Firefox was not running. In combination with other vulnerabilities this would give attackers the ability to sniff data and run arbitrary code.

The third vulnerability (MFSA 2008-36) alone affects Apple computers. The browser would crash if a user opened manipulated gif type image files in Firefox 3; this in turn might allow attackers to run arbitrary code.

The bugfixes included an page printing error, and an error that caused the phishing and malware database to fail to update on first launch. There was also an error that affected the SSL certificate exception list and that has now been fixed. For more information on bugfixes check out the Release Notes. Just a few days ago, the Mozilla Foundation released updates for Firefox 2 and Seamonkey, which were affected by the some of same bugs.

Updates for various versions of Firefox and for Seamonkey are available from the Mozila Websites. Binary packages will be released for various distributions in the next few days. Red Hat has already published updates.

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