Commentary: patched in 60 seconds

Friday, 9 July 2004, 11:21 AM EST

Today it was announced that a vulnerability in the Mozilla and Firefox Web browsers allows the execution of arbitrary code in Windows NT, 2000, and XP systems. It doesn't affect GNU/Linux, FreeBSD, Solaris or anything else -- just Windows. I'd imagine that Microsoft's head honchos will be mentioning this exploit whenever they want to attack open source software security for years to come. Ironically OSS advocates might use the same story to attack Microsoft's security record. Why? Because a patch was released before the vulnerability was widely reported.

The specific vulnerability in question affects the Mozilla suite (1.7.0 and earlier), Firefox browser (0.9.1 and earlier), and Thunderbird email client (0.7.1 and earlier). Here it is, barely a day since the bug was initally reported, and all these programs have updated versions available as well as a binary patch for those needing a quick fix (if you're currently using one of these programs in Windows, just click here to download the patch right now).

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