Feeds

Mozilla riddled with security holes

Playing catch up

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Security for virtualized datacentres

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)

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
NASTY SSL 3.0 vuln to be revealed soon – sources (Update: It's POODLE)
So nasty no one's even whispering until patch is out
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
Forget passwords, let's use SELFIES, says Obama's cyber tsar
Michael Daniel wants to kill passwords dead
FBI boss: We don't want a backdoor, we want the front door to phones
Claims it's what the Founding Fathers would have wanted – catching killers and pedos
Kill off SSL 3.0 NOW: HTTPS savaged by vicious POODLE
Pull it out ASAP, it is SWISS CHEESE
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.