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Exploits for Firefox flaw could be unleashed

Antony Savvas

Security researchers are claiming exploit code that takes advantage of a flaw in the open source Firefox browser will soon start circulating on the internet.

The Mozilla Foundation recently issued a temporary fix to the problem in its Firefox browser, and is busy trying to develop a permanent solution, but messages on security message boards are claiming hackers are already developing exploits.

The problem relates to the way Firefox handles Internationalised Domain Names (IDNs). IDNs are domain names that use local language characters.

The IDN fault in Firefox allows attackers to potentially cause a buffer overflow in the browser and execute their own malicious code on users’ machines.

The problem is also said to affect the latest version of Netscape’s browser. The temporary fix issued by Mozilla disables IDNs. A full fix to be issued by Mozilla will fix the problem and still allow users to safely handle IDNs.


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