Feeds

Mozilla seeks security researchers to look at alpha code

A stitch in time

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

Mozilla Corporation wants to get the security community involved in ironing out possible bugs with the next version of Firefox at an earlier stage.

Instead of pointing out security bugs once Firefox 3.0 gets released, Mozilla wants security vendors involved while the software in still a work in progress.

Window Snyder, the "chief security something" or head of security strategy at Mozilla Corporation, explained: "We want to encourage the security community to get involved earlier, at the design and implementation stage. There's a wealth of information we can share."

Mozilla has run a security bug bounty program offering $500 as a thank you to researchers who unearth security bugs since 2004. In addition to this, commercial vendors send in bugs as they are discovered. A team of around 70 volunteers in the Mozilla development community perform triage and work on the development of security fixes.

Reports from Snyder's appearance at the ShmooCon hacker conference in Washington last month suggested Mozilla Corp thought security researchers had too much power in the security remediation process.

Snyder was keen to emphasise that Mozilla wasn't looking for special favours while reiterating the need for security researchers and suppliers to work together for the benefit of the community.

"Vendors need to be responsive and work with researchers," Snyder told El Reg. "If vendors are not responsive I can understand why someone believes their only option is to release details of a vulnerability before there's a patch. Users are better protected if vendors work with researchers.

"The onus is on vendors but security researchers ought to more flexible about how long it might take to get out a patch, which might take more time if application compatibility issues are discovered."

Snyder said Mozilla's work with the security community could be further improved if researchers got involved in the development process of Firefox 3 and subsequent releases of the open source browser. The first alpha version of Mozilla Firefox 3 (Gran Paradiso) was released in December as part of the testing and development process leading up to a release, penciled in for November 2007.

Firefox 3 is to feature an updated layout engine, Gecko 1.9, as well as a revamped system for managing browser bookmarks and history, an improvement originally scheduled for Firefox 2.0 but dropped before the release of the software last October. ®

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
BMW's ConnectedDrive falls over, bosses blame upgrade snafu
Traffic flows up 20% as motorway middle lanes miraculously unclog
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.