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Firefox 3 Hits Record: A Continuation

Wednesday, June 25th, 2008 by | Filed Under: Security Help

Firefox 3 Hits Record: A Continuation

I know we talked a little about this last week, but I have some more to tell you regarding the Firefox 3 record breaking, so please listen up!

I’m sure most of you know that the newest version of Firefox just came out last week. Firefox 3.0 is the newest Web browser online today and it has a ton of new features that everyone seems to love. Since Mozilla (the makers of Firefox) knew there would be a lot of people downloading the third version of their browser, they raised the stakes a bit and said they would be going for a world record. They attempted to make a record for the most downloads of one application in a 24 hour period.

Well, that didn’t exactly go as planned. A couple of things happened within that 24 hour time frame that put a bit of a hindrance on their attempt. First, so many people were downloading Firefox 3 in the United States that the Firefox servers crashed. They were down for a couple of hours before they were back up and running. That little glitch may have slowed the downloads, but another problem hurt them even more.

On the same day, a vulnerability was found within Firefox that allows remote code execution from an attacker. That bug was announced on the day Firefox 3 was released, but it actually affects Firefox 2 as well. It seems that going to certain malicious Web sites can cause this attack to happen. After visiting the site, the vulnerability is exploited and the hacker can run programs on your computer. At this time, Mozilla is aware of the issue, but they haven’t commented on it or created a patch for a fix.

Even through all of this, Mozilla still managed to get over eight million downloads of Firefox 3 on the launch date. That’s an amazing feat! Guinness World Records is reviewing the results for authenticity of the numbers, but it looks like it will make the book.

As for the vulnerability, all issues like this should be taken seriously and I’m sure Mozilla will have a patch worked out for it soon. In the meantime, it’s still relatively safe to use Firefox, but be careful of the Web sites you visit. Until next week, stay safe out there, my friends!

~ Gary

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