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Mozilla riddled with security holes

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Details of six flaws in Mozilla, the open source browser were posted on BugTraq at the weekend.

Versions of Mozilla previous to version 1.0.1 contain multiple security vulnerabilities, so users need to update their browser software. The flaws could be used by an attacker to read data off of the local hard drive, gain information which should normally be kept private, and in some cases to execute arbitrary code, an advisory by Red Hat explains.

That advisory was published on October 18, and dealt with problems that first came to light in September. Last Friday (November 1) BugTraq posted a half dozen updated advisories which spell out the various risks and gives links to proof on concept demonstrations relating to the six.

Firstly, and most seriously, we touch on a well reported weakness in Mozilla which meand that surfers may not get sufficient warning when being redirected from secure sites to other secure sites via non-secure sites. The consequences of this HTTP/HTTPS Redirection Weakness for ecommerce are serious and at very least may give users a false sense of security when browsing the Internet.

Next up there's a flaw with XMLSerializer, which comes with the XMLExtras package included with Mozilla (available on Unix, Linux, and Microsoft Windows platforms).

However the XMLSerializer object does not possess a check for the Same Origin Policy. "This may allow the object to be invoked to gain access to properties of another domain in a frame or iframe", an advisory cautions.

And there's more.

Due to improper implementation of the onkeypress function for the space bar, it is possible to use a keypress for multiple confirmations. The worry is this makes it easier for malicious software to slip under a user's radar and get installed. There's more information here.

We now draw your attention to a potential memory corruption bug with Mozilla. This issue occurs when "document.open()" is called when a form is submitted. Under certain circumstances processing this data will result in memory corruption, resulting in a denial of service.

Nasty.

Moving on, we have a warning that many alternative Web browsers are prone to memory corruption when handling GIF image files with a width field set to zero. Browsers reported to be affected are Netscape, Mozilla and Opera on Linux platforms. Other browsers and platforms may also be affected.

It may be possible to exploit this issue to cause a denial of service or potentially execute arbitrary code.

As multiple browsers are affected, the suspicion is that this vulnerability may be due to a common flaw in a library used to render GIF images (such as libungif), but this is yet to be confirmed.

Last, it's been discovered that a problem in Mozilla's implementation of the JavaScript "onUnload" event handler has the potential to leak sensitive information to Web sites about users' surfing patterns. On the face of it this the least serious of the six, and the only one which also affects Mozilla version 1.0.1 and 1.1. Find out more here. ®

External Links

Known Vulnerabilities in Mozilla (these six vulnerabilities are yet to percolate over here, apparently)

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

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