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Safer Browsing with FirefoxComputer Security

 

A Safer way to Browse | Mozilla Firefox

 

11.09.2004

The Mozilla Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving choice and promoting innovation on the Internet, released an update to its award-winning Firefox 1.0 browser. The Firefox security update is available for the 27 million users who have already downloaded the free browser. The Mozilla Foundation encourages all users to download the update, which is available now on all platforms at www.mozilla.org.

"Our browser is moving into the mainstream," said Mitchell Baker, president of the nonprofit Mozilla Foundation, based in Mountain View, Calif. "Being an alternative browser in today's market is a challenge, but people have begun to realize that the browser matters, that the browser you get with your computer can be a beginning point and not an endpoint."

Mozilla owes a large portion of their success to a steady stream of Internet Explorer issues with security & spyware. Browsers face security bugs, but IE seems like it has a huge target on its back. Almost weekly you hear of a new security bug targeting IE users.

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"We're seeing the natural ebb and flow of a competitive marketplace," said Gary Schare, Microsoft's director of product management for Windows, professing indifference in response to a question about Firefox's apparent market inroads. "Curious early adopters are trying it out, and frankly we're happy they're trying it out on Windows. We believe that IE is the best browser out there, but we're happy to have (Firefox users) on the Windows platform."

The Computer Emergency Readiness Team (CERT), a division of Homeland Security, issued an advisory suggesting that Internet users consider ditching IE and go with one of their competitors. Independent groups have launched their own campaigns urging Web surfers to consider alternative browsers.

MyDoom Spreads Using Internet Explorer.

A newly discovered security vulnerability in Microsoft’s Internet Explorer allows a variant of the MyDoom virus infect a PC after the user clicks on a link.

The companies said they had only detected a few instances of the infector, which is labelled MyDoom.AG by McAfee and MyDoom.AH by Symantec.

"We have only received one submission from the field, but the technical aspects of this are concerning," said Craig Schmugar, senior virus research manager at McAfee. "It has all the components there to become a significant virus."
The virus uses a flaw to execute malicious code on the victim's computer, infecting the system. The virus harvests e-mail addresses on the compromised system, sends out mail to spread the virus further, sets up a Web server and attempts to contact several Internet relay chat (IRC) servers as a way to notify the virus's creator of that a new system has been compromised.

"As a best practice, users should always exercise extreme caution when opening unsolicited attachments from both known and unknown sources," said Microsoft in a statement sent to CNET News.com. "In addition, we continue to encourage customers follow our 'Protect Your PC' guidance of enabling a firewall, getting software updates and installing antivirus software."

Related:

Phishing Hole Discovered in Internet Explorer

Phishing Flaw in Alternate Browsers

Avoiding a Phishing attack

Internet Cookies

FTC Shuts Down Spyware Web Sites

 

 

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