Mozilla is to release an update of its Firefox browser tomorrow that will check for unpatched versions of Adobe's Flash Player commonly user by hackers to carry out attacks.
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Users of Firefox 3.0 and 3.5 will be able to install the update to check that the version of Flash Player they are using is up-to-date and secure.
The update is the first in a series planned for Firefox that will target vulnerable browser software from Adobe, Apple, Sun and Microsoft.
Johnathan Nightingale of the Firefox security team said in a blog posting that old versions of plug-ins can cause crashes and other stability problems, and can also be a significant security risk.
"For now, our focus is on the Adobe Flash Player both because of its popularity and because some studies have shown that as many as 80% of users currently have an out-of-date version," he wrote.
Mozilla plans to work with other plug-in suppliers to provide similar checks for their products.
"Keeping your software up to date remains one of the best things you can do to keep yourself safe online," said Nightingale.