Feeds

Mozilla seeks security researchers to look at alpha code

A stitch in time

SANS - Survey on application security programs

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. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
Canadian teen accused of raiding tax computers using OpenSSL bug
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Heartbleed exploit, inoculation, both released
File under 'this is going to hurt you more than it hurts me'
Arts and crafts store Michaels says 3 million credit cards exposed in breach
Meanwhile, Target investigators prepare for long process in nabbing hackers
prev story

Whitepapers

SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.