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Firefox and Safari updates tackle alternative browser bugs

Mozilla garbage function gets trashed

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There's patching work ahead for users of alternative browsers. Mozilla updated its Firefox web browser on Wednesday in response to the discovery of a vulnerability involving its Javascript Garbage Collector function.

The security bug means that memory corruption might be caused through specially-crafted Javascript code. Successful exploitation creates a means to execute arbitrary code on vulnerable systems.

The vulnerability is reported in version 2.0.0.13 of the popular open source browser. Earlier versions may also be affected. Surfers are advised to update to version 2.0.0.14. Mozilla's security advisory can be found here.

In other browser security news, Apple pushed out an update for its Safari web browser on Wednesday. Both Windows and Apple versions of the browser need patching, though for different reasons.

Safari version 3.1.1 addresses a brace of WebKit vulnerabilities that affect computers running Mac OS X or Mac OS X Server. Left unchecked, the duo of flaws create a means for hackers to crash browsers or inject malicious code onto vulnerable machines, providing users can be tricked into visiting maliciously-constructed websites.

One of the vulnerabilities, which involves flaws in WebKit's handling of JavaScript regular expressions, was discovered during the Pwn to Own contest at CanSecWest last month by Charlie Miller and other white-hat hackers in his team. The second of the two flaws involves problems with WebKit's processing of a colon character in the host name.

Vista and XP users need patching against these flaws and a brace of other vulnerabilities specific to Windows machines, involving memory corruption and a less serious timing issue in Safari 3.1.

Both Windows and Apple users of Safari need to update to Safari version 3.1.1, as explained in an advisory from Apple here. ®

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