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Opera screeches at Mozilla over security disclosure

Spilling the beans

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Opera has taken exception to the manner in which Mozilla handled the disclosure of a security bug that affects both firm's browsers. The moderate severity flaw involving file input controls creates a means to upload arbitrary files, assuming hackers know the full path and name of the file.

Mozilla fixed the flaw, along with other more serious bugs, with the release of Firefox 2.0.0.12 on 7 February. Opera, which is yet to plug the moderate risk flaw, objected to the Mozilla team publishing an advisory on the issue.

Claudio Santambrogio, an Opera desktop developer, said the Mozilla team notified it of a security issue only a day before publishing an advisory. This gave the Norwegian software developers insufficient time to make an evaluation. "They did not wait for us to come back with an ETA for a fix: they kept their bug reports containing the details of the exploits closed to the public for a few days, and now opened most of them to everybody," Santambrogio writes.

Santambrogio goes on to attack Mozilla's handling of the issue, arguing that it places Opera users at unnecessary risk. "Opera is as always committed to not only protecting its users, but to making the Web a safe place. We believe in responsible disclosure of vulnerabilities affecting several vendors," Santambrogio adds.

Nobody from the Mozilla Corporation was available for comment at the time of going to press. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

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