The Mozilla Foundation has issued a security advisory to address concerns about a potential flaw in its new open-source Firefox 1.5 browser which could cause a buffer overflow error.
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While Mozilla said the flaw was non-critical, the advisory has been released following the appearance of exploit code on the internet which allows remote attackers to potentially use it to take over a user’s PC.
Mozilla said there was no evidence that the exploit had actually been used by any attackers or that any users had been affected by the flaw.
The problem relates to long history.dat files. Such files record the websites a user has accessed with their Firefox browser.
If the history file gets larger than 10.5Mbytes as a result of extremely long website titles, then the Firefox system can appear to freeze.
Mozilla said the system does not actually freeze, but that it takes time to clear the history buffer. To cure the problem users need to clear the Firefox History archive, said Mozilla.
To be affected by the problem users would have to be guided to malicious websites with specially crafted bumper titles.