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Firefox update quells quartet of security vulns

Alka-seltzer patches also soothe stability wobbles

Reducing security risks from open source software

Mozilla pushed out a new version of Firefox on Wednesday fixing four security bugs and a number of stability issues.

Firefox 3.5.3, available in Mac, Windows and Linux flavours, resolves three critical flaws and one less severe bug.

The critical vulnerabilities involve a memory corruption flaw, a Chrome privilege escalation bug involving the "BrowserFeedWriter" and a TreeColumns dangling pointer vulnerability, as explained here.

The release also tackles multiple stability (browser crashing and the like) bugs including an occasional tendency for Mac-based Firefox installations to crash when opening the bookmarks menu.

Users back on the 3.0.x track of the browser also need to upgrade to version 3.0.14. This update tackles the same four issues addressed by the 3.5.3 release as well as a separate set of memory corruption bugs tied in with the browser and its JavaScript engine, as explained by Secunia here.

Firefox's automated update mechanism means installations of the browser should be updated automatically, alternatively users can manually update the software.

First, albeit unscientific, impressions, are that the latest version (3.5.3) of the open source browser loads more quickly and is generally snappier than recent versions. Firefox's memory hogging behaviour of late has become one of the main reasons those adverse to IE have begun to use Google Chrome as an alternative browser of choice. ®

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