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Bugs casts shadow over Firefox 3

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Firefox 3 is only hours old but flaw finders have already located bugs in the browser bairn.

An unspecified flaw that creates a means to inject hostile code onto vulnerable systems affects both Firefox 3 and Firefox 2, TippingPoint warns.

The security tools firm has informed Mozilla and is holding off details of the mystery bug pending the availability of a patch. The vulnerability was submitted to TippingPoint through the vendor's controversial Zero Day Initiative, which provides financial rewards to researchers who discover new flaws, just five hours after the release of Firefox 3.0.

Meanwhile a minimalist posting on a full Disclosure security mailing list warns of a buffer overflow bug affecting Firefox 3.0. It's unclear whether the vulnerability is the same as that reported to TippingPoint though since the second report only refers to Firefox 3.0 it's tempting to speculate that the two are different.

Browser vulnerabilities, much like rising petrol prices and the inexorable progress of the Italian national team into the knock-out stages of major football competitions, are a fact of life. Hackers undoubtedly scoured the release candidate of Firefox 3.0 for bugs that they could announce soon after the official release of the software and we can expect IE 8 will get much the same fuzzing process as soon as it makes its way out of Redmond.

The discovery of the bugs is unlikely to dampen down enthusiasm for Firefox. An estimated 7 million downloaded copies of the browser in the first 24 hours of its release even though Mozilla servers struggled to cope with demand. ®

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