Firefox 2.0.0.8 does not Close all the Gaps and Adds Some New Ones

Oct 23, 2007

The update for the Mozilla Firefox browser to version 2.0.0.8 does not remove all of the vulnerabilities disclosed in the changelog, and the update introduces some new bugs.

A hacker group referring to itself as the "Hacktivisten" has demonstrated that a gap supposedly closed by the update to version 2.0.0.8 is still open. Although the exploit failed to crash Firefox 2.0.0.8 in a test, the hackers were able to suppress code components via the “View Page Source Code” function. Users would thus be unable to detect malicious code despite viewing the source code for a site. The exploit is capable of crashing older versions of the browser. The optional script blocker extension for Firefox prevents the attack, and also makes sure that source code displays properly.

The update added a couple of new issues. As the developers disclosed on their website, a couple of bugs were introduced along with the 200 improvements and bugfixes. For example, Cascading Style Sheets are not corretly interpreted in some cases (Bug 400406). Additionally, some extensions will not work with version 2.0.0.8 (Bug 396695). This problem is easy to fix by deleting a couple of files. The third bug, number 400421, is evidenced by incorrect handling of image maps. Two other bugs only affect Windows systems.

Despite the setbacks, an update to the latest version of Firefox is still recommended, as the update removes various security issues. The developers have already announced a new release: version 2.0.0.9 is scheduled for next week. Normally, six to eight weeks pass between Firefox releases. This cycle is not normally changed except for critical vulnerabilities.

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