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Firefox exploit sends Mozilla into 'high-priority fire drill' mode

Two weeks, two exploits

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Mozilla's security team is rushing out a fix for its flagship Mozilla browser following the public release of attack code that targets a previously unknown vulnerability.

The exploit was released Wednesday online. It attacks a vulnerability present on Windows, Mac and Linux versions of the browser and could be used to surreptitiously execute malware on the machines of users who browse booby-trapped websites. The flaw is classified as a boundary condition error that targets Firefox's XML parsing features according to SecurityFocus.

This is the second critical vulnerability in Firefox to come to light in as many weeks. Last week, a master's candidate from the University of Oldenburg in Germany unveiled a separate vulnerability that allowed him to compromise the browser's security. At time of writing, there were no reports that attackers were exploiting either vulnerability, but there's nothing stopping a determined miscreant from modifying Wednesday's release into working attack.

Mozilla intends to fix both vulnerabilities in the version 3.0.8, which is due for release on April 1, Mozilla says here. Mozilla developers are characterizing it as a "high-priority firedrill security update."

As is usually the case, the Firefox add-on NoScript can mitigate attacks against both vulnerabilities. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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