Feeds

Mozilla ships first security update for Firefox 4

ASLR compilation cockup uncocked

Remote control for virtualized desktops

Mozilla has issued the first ever security update for Firefox 4.0, including a fix for two chunks of code that allowed attackers to override a key security protection baked in to recent versions of the Windows operating system.

The slip up in the two WebGLES graphics libraries, which Mozilla added to the latest version of the open-source browser, is the result of someone compiling the code without the benefit of ASLR, or address space layout randomization. The security measure, which Microsoft introduced in Windows Vista, is designed to prevent malware attacks by making it harder to locate the memory addresses of code loaded by memory-corruption exploits.

Because the library was added to Firefox 4, the bug doesn't affect earlier versions of the browser.

“Nils reported that the WebGLES libraries in the Windows version of Firefox were compiled without ASLR protection,” an advisory for the bug stated. “An attacker who found an exploitable memory corruption flaw could then use these libraries to bypass ASLR on Windows Vista and Windows 7, making the flaw as exploitable on those platforms as it would be on Windows XP or other platforms.”

Nils, it would appear, is the hacker who took home prizes two years in a row at the annual Pwn2Own hacker competition by defeating ASLR and a similar Windows protection known as data execution prevention. He doesn't give his last name to reporters.

Firefox 4.0.1 included fixes for other bugs, including one in the XSLT generate-id() function heap and another for Miscellaneous memory safety hazards.

Mozilla also pushed out Firefox 3.6.17, which fixed vulnerabilities in that version of the browser. Three of them – for bugs involving an escalation of privilege through the Java Embedding Plugin, multiple dangling pointers, and miscellaneous memory safety hazards – were rated critical. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Regin: The super-spyware the security industry has been silent about
NSA fingered as likely source of complex malware family
Why did it take antivirus giants YEARS to drill into super-scary Regin? Symantec responds...
FYI this isn't just going to target Windows, Linux and OS X fans
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Home Office: Fancy flogging us some SECRET SPY GEAR?
If you do, tell NOBODY what it's for or how it works
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
HACKERS can DELETE SURVEILLANCE DVRS remotely – report
Hikvision devices wide open to hacking, claim securobods
'Regin': The 'New Stuxnet' spook-grade SOFTWARE WEAPON described
'A degree of technical competence rarely seen'
Syrian Electronic Army in news site 'hack' POP-UP MAYHEM
Gigya redirect exploit blamed for pop-rageous ploy
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing and building an open ITOA architecture
Learn about a new IT data taxonomy defined by the four data sources of IT visibility: wire, machine, agent, and synthetic data sets.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Driving business with continuous operational intelligence
Introducing an innovative approach offered by ExtraHop for producing continuous operational intelligence.