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Netscape patches v8 browser just hours after release

Antony Savvas

Netscape was forced to release a security update to its Netscape 8.0 browser just hours after launching it at the end of last week.

Version 8 of the browser was the first major update since 2002 and was designed to offer internet users a more secure browser against spyware and phishing attacks from fake websites.

Netscape 8 is partly based on the increasingly popular open source Firefox browser, but it didn’t include a patch for scripting and remote hacking vulnerabilities recently addressed in Firefox 1.0.4. 

Another vulnerability saw Netscape 8 being prone to malicious GIF images, which could allow an attacker to control a user’s machine.

The security omissions led to Netscape releasing Netscape 8.0.1 just hours after 8.0.

The new browser comes with both anti-phishing and anti-spyware features. It aims to prevent spyware being installed on users’ machines in the first place, so users don’t have to rely on tools to remove it.

With phishing, the browser automatically adjusts its security settings while users surf the web, using continually updated lists of sites known to be malicious to help protect users from phishing scams and malware hosts.

The Netscape browser is currently downloaded around 15 million times a year. Netscape is hoping the updated version will help it make up lost ground on the world’s number two browser, Firefox, which has been downloaded over 50 million times since last November.

Microsoft’s Internet Explorer has around 90% of the browser market. 


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