Mozilla halts Firefox security updates

Stops serving updates to newest versions while it looks into startup crash bug

Mozilla has stopped providing security updates to Firefox users as it investigates a bug that caused computers to crash last week.

Computerworld blogger Michael Horowitz first reported on the problem last Sunday after he tried to update older editions of Firefox on several different machines.

When Horowitz asked Firefox 3.5.11, 3.6.3 and 3.6.8 if there was an update, the browsers told him no newer editions were available. Firefox's up-to-date versions are 3.5.12 and 3.6.9, which Mozilla released a week ago when it patched 15 vulnerabilities , 11 of them labeled "critical."

Computerworld staffers reproduced the issue when they tried to update a copy of Firefox 3.6.6 on Windows Vista and Firefox 3.6.8 on a Mac.

Normally, older versions of Firefox will automatically receive an update with 24-48 hours after it's released, or when the user manually selects the "Check for Updates" from the Help menu.

Monday, Mozilla said it has stopped offering Firefox 3.5.12 and 3.6.9 because of a bug that crashed some users' machines after they'd updated, then restarted the browser.

"We've limited updates to Firefox 3.6.9 and Firefox 3.5.12 at this time as we evaluate some early feedback which indicates that a subset of our user base may be finding the releases unstable," said Michael Shaver, Mozilla's head of engineering, in an e-mail reply to questions yesterday.

According to an entry in Bugzilla , Mozilla's bug and code change database, the company began receiving a large number of crash reports after releasing Firefox 3.5.12 and 3.6.9 last week. The reports have come from machines on all three platforms -- Windows, Mac and Linux -- that Firefox supports, with the majority of them occurring during browser startup.

Mozilla did not say when it would switch updates back on.

Users who want to upgrade older versions of Firefox can download 3.5.12 or 3.6.9 from Mozilla's Web site, then install them manually overtop existing copies.

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags applicationssecuritybrowserssoftwareMalware and Vulnerabilitiesmozilla

More about LinuxMozilla

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by Gregg Keizer

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Will your data protection strategy be enough when disaster strikes?

    Speakers: - Paul O’Connor, Engagement leader - Performance Audit Group, Victorian Auditor-General’s Office (VAGO) - Nigel Phair, Managing Director, Centre for Internet Safety - Joshua Stenhouse, Technical Evangelist, Zerto - Anthony Caruana, CSO MC & Moderator

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts

Market Place