Mozilla offers Temporary Fix for Firefox Flaw

By Dave

Its good to see Mozilla fixing things up pretty fast. Hopefully 1.5 will fully be out soon, and everything will be fixed up for a little while.

Responding to the disclosure of a serious Web browser flaw, the Mozilla Foundation offered on Friday a temporary fix to protect Firefox and Mozilla users.

The downloadable fix protects against attacks that take advantage of a new, unpatched flaw that could let attackers secretly run malicious software on users’ PCs. The flaw was disclosed late Thursday by security researcher Tom Ferris, sending Mozilla staff into damage-control mode.

The problem has to do with the way the Firefox and Mozilla browsers handle International Domain Names, or IDNs, said Mike Schroepfer, director of engineering at Mozilla. IDNs are domain names that use local language characters. The fix disables support for such Web addresses, he said.

“This is a temporary work-around just to deal with the immediate issue,” Schroepfer said. “We’re working on a future release in which we will actually fix the problem and re-enable the IDN feature.” Switching off IDN support impacts a subset of Firefox and Mozilla users who actually use such special domain names, he said.

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