Feeds

Firefox 3 makes up world record to set world record

Oh-oh, dedication download's what you need

Top three mobile application threats

The Mozilla Foundation has officially set a previously non-existent Guinness World Record for the largest number of software downloads in a day.

Firefox 3 clocked 8,002,530 downloads on the popular web browser’s launch day (18 June), according to GWR judges who confirmed the figure yesterday. It tallied up the numbers after auditing and checking Mozilla servers to ensure duplicate and unfinished downloads were dismissed.

"As the arbiter and recorder of the world's amazing facts, Guinness World Records is pleased to add Mozilla's achievement to our archives," confirmed Guinness World Records manager Gareth Deaves in a statement.

However, the record attempt nearly fell flat on its face, with the official launch turning into something of a PR fiasco as servers buckled under the strain of demand. For almost two hours after it was supposed to kick off, Mozilla’s websites were either unavailable or publishing html error messages.

The open source organisation, which had claimed 8.3 million downloads for the 24-hour period, finally allowed the clock to start ticking when the servers returned to life and – eventually – the publicity stunt paid off.

Regardless of Mozilla’s heavily-marketed “Download Day”, there was something inevitable about Firefox 3 grasping a tiny bit of Microsoft’s market share with its Internet Explorer web browser, which – according to stats tracker Net Applications – still holds a sizeable 73 per cent of total usage.

And while Mozilla may be popping the corks on a few bottles of bubbly for becoming a record-breaker, what might be more significant over the coming months is that, amidst a browser war, Firefox 3 sports a significant hole that is yet to be patched.

Indeed, within five hours of the launch of the open source browser, which now holds 19 per cent market share of total worldwide usage, security firms DV Labs and Tipping Point reported a backdoor vulnerability in the software that could potentially allow an attacker to take over a PC.

Mozilla admitted yesterday that it’s still working on a fix for that particular security cock-up. In the meantime it’s also released patches for 13 bugs in Firefox 2, five of which the firm rated “critical”.

Unsurprisingly, Mozilla advised earlier this week that Firefox fanciers should upgrade to version 3 and added that support for version 2 would end mid-December.

Of the five critical flaws listed, three could be exploited by attackers to execute malicious code, while the last two involving potential memory corruption in JavaScript could lead to code-execution exploits. ®

Seven Steps to Software Security

More from The Register

next story
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Captain Kirk sets phaser to SLAUGHTER after trying new Facebook app
William Shatner less-than-impressed by Zuck's celebrity-only app
Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs
Ragegasm spills over as firmware upgrade kills machines
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU
On-by-default INMEMORY tech a boon for developers ... as long as they can afford it
Google shows off new Chrome OS look
Athena springs full-grown from Chromium project's head
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.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.