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Firefox releases automatic updates for its 1.5 and 2.0 browsers

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March 22, 2007

Mozilla's Firefox browser users will be getting automatic updates for their Firefox 1.5 and 2.0 browsers after it released updated versions of its software code. Overall, a few Internet security features have been added, but many of the changes are improvements to its usability features. The added security features pertain to Firefox's FTP segment found in both versions of the browser.

The Mozilla Foundation said "Firefox's new security specifications of the FTP protocol allows the Web server response to include an alternative server address, although this is rarely used in practice."

The Foundation added "a user reported that a malicious Web page hosted on a specially-coded FTP server could use this feature to perform a rudimentary port scan of machines inside the firewall of the impending victim.

"In and by itself this causes no specific harm, but information about an internal network may be very useful to a potential hacker, should there be other vulnerabilities present on the same network," said a representative of the Mozilla Foundation.

Other identified problems repaired in version 2.0 include allowing software updates on computers where the user does not have administrator access.

Also, important changes have been made to the way Firefox handles Web sites like GMail when the browser is restored after a specific failure or crash.

The new security patches also repair various compatibility problems with Windows Vista, for which Mozilla suggests Firefox 2.0 as the preferred browser over the 1.5 version.

Version 1.5 fixes include resolutions to the numerous problems with Apple computers using the Rosetta translator, PDF incompatibility issues with Windows machines and a software fix allowing the proper use of Gnome with Linux's Fedora Core 3 Web servers.

Mozilla is recommending all Firefox users to upgrade to version 2.0 of the browser before support for version 1.5 is cut off on April 24, 2007, although the older software is still available for download for the next few weeks.

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Source: Vnunet

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