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Mozilla Updates Firefox To Address Security, Stability

Posted by inet - 2006-02-06

Mozilla this week delivered an update to its Firefox browser to address several software vulnerabilities and improve the product's overall stability.
 
"This is part of our regular, two-month upgrade cycle, and deals in part with eight vulnerabilities identified by us and our users," said Mike Schroepfer, vice president of engineering at Mozilla.

Bugs Squashed

Among the bugs fixed in Firefox 1.5.0.1 are flaws in the JavaScript engine that could cause buffer-overflow problems for users.

These flaws, which were disclosed late last year, concerned Web pages with long titles that could cause Firefox to operate sluggishly or crash, Schroepfer explained.

"We also are providing fixes for several memory leaks in an effort to improve the stability of Firefox and address crashes reported by our users," he said.

In issuing the update, Mozilla noted that some firewall software might block the updated version of Firefox from running.

Most firewalls ask users to allow a program to connect to the Internet. In these cases, users should grant Firefox access. Otherwise they must go to the firewall's configuration settings and grant access there.

Automatic Upgrades

In addition to providing better stability on Windows and Linux machines, the update also provides better support for Mac OS X. Those who have Intel-based Macs may run Firefox 1.5.0.1 under Rosetta. Mozilla plans to support Intel Macs natively starting with Firefox 1.5.0.2.

Firefox 1.5 users can obtain the upgrade through Mozilla's automatic-update service or download it from the Mozilla site directly. Schroepfer said that the company has recorded some 15 million downloads of the update through the automated system.

The latest version of the open-source browser was launched in late November, a year after the initial product was introduced. Mozilla said version 1.5 has exceeded the 100 million download mark already.

The ranks of Firefox users have grown substantially since its inception, indicating that it is nibbling away at Internet Explorer's formidable market share.

NetApplications recently reported that Firefox holds 8.59 percent of the browser market, up from 2.69 percent a year ago. In contrast, Microsoft's Internet Explorer currently enjoys an 86 percent market share.



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