Germany warns surfers against Firefox
German's official cyber-security response team is advising surfers not to use Firefox pending the release of a patch to defend against a critical unpatched vulnerability.
BürgerCERT, a division of the German federal government's security in information technology (BSI) department, warned surfers to steer clear of the open source browser until Mozilla releases a fix, due on 30 March. The zero-day vulnerability in the latest full version 3.6 of Firefox was discovered by security researcher Evgeny Legerov last month and explained in much greater depth in our story at the time here. Legerov controversially offered to sell exploit code he developed.
Mozilla acknowledged the security vulnerability on Thursday and promised the the next version of 3.6.2, due at the end of the month, would plug the hole. In the meantime, Mozilla published a beta of Firefox 3.6.2 that addresses the flaw. However this release isn't ready for prime time just yet.
The German government, which previously urged surfers to stay off IE in January for similar unpatched security bug reasons, has now taken a stand against Firefox.
The consensus among security researchers is that mass browser migration in enterprises is unworkable. It's tricky enough to get some corporates (including even Google, if the evidence of Operation Aurora is to be believed) to upgrade from IE 6.
Consumers don't have to worry about access to legacy applications but swapping browsers willy-nilly in response to flaws doesn't make a great deal of sense even then because all browsers are subject to security flaps from time to time. The more important question is to what extent an unpatched browser hole is getting exploited by hackers, scammers and other riff-raff.
The Firefox vulnerability poses a possible mechanism to infect surfers using the open source browser if they can be tricked into visiting a maliciously constructed website. In the case of the Firefox vulnerability exploit code is available - though not in a "weaponised" form - and there's not much sign that attacks are taking place.
Versions of Firefox prior to 3.6 are not prone to this specific vulnerability but are subject to other bugs, so reverting back to earlier versions of the browser isn't the smartest idea. ®
Head, meet desk
"Don't use IE, use Firefo-, no, wait! Use...er..."
Love all the anti-FF crowd coming out to crow - as they normally do - about Firefox and IE both being software (ie, they have bugs).
Let me explain this for you nice and slowly, IE fans. We use FF not because it has less security holes (though it does seem to) - we use it because when there is a problem, the patch comes out a whoooole lot faster. Well, that and a whole host of other reasons.
No browser is immune to security holes/bugs/flaws. None. The difference is in the patching. IE generally takes about an ice age or two. Firefox....doesn't.
*Doot de dooo doooo dooooo*
You acquired a clue! Achievement Unlocked!
Rogue banner ad??
Isn't the whole point of running FF is that you have ABP and NoScript ?
"I was running Firefox 3.6 and last night I clicked to open up a page on ThePirateBay and got immediately rooted."
Do I correctly assume you ran FF as "Administrator" ? That is a very, very bad idea.
Hint: There is no need to do that, especially when you surf the intertubes. Set up a user w/o administrative rights and use the "Administrator" only when necessary (to install SW, configure network address etc).