Firefox 7 seekers warned to beware of bogus website

A suspicious site that does not have a Mozilla Firefox 7download link is appearing high in search results Wednesday.

If you're using a search engine today to find a download of Firefox 7, be careful about the results you click on. That's because a dubious website called appears high up in those results.

The site was discovered Wednesday by Sophos security expert Graham Cluely when doing a routine search on "Firefox 7." has no relationship with the browser's maker, the Mozilla Foundation, Cluely wrote in the Naked Security blog. The site is registered to someone in China named Xiaojuan Zhang, who lives in Shenzhen in Guandong province.

A software piracy ring located in Shenzhen was broken up by the FBI and Chinese authorities in 2007. Another resident of that city was arrested by the FBI and sentenced to 30 months in prison last year for exporting counterfeit Cisco products into the United States from a company he set up in Shenzhen.

Clueley could not find anything overtly malicious about the site, other than it appeared to be a way to scrape money from visitors through Google AdSense ads. The site does beg a few questions, however. For instance, if the site's author is a Firefox fan, why isn't there a link to a real download page for Firefox7 instead of a bunch of Blogspot links?

Mozilla released Firefox 7 yesterday. Among the improvements in the new release are better memory management, faster performance, and better add-on compatibility than in previous versions.

According to, which provides information on web sites, the site is pretty obscure. It's ranked 594,065 worldwide, although in China, it's ranked much higher: 82,457. In addition, traffic at the site has been steadily climbing since September 23.

Confusion Unnecessary?

Cluely was a bit miffed at Mozilla for not being more proactive about snipping this kind of confusion in the bud. "Whatever the intentions of the person behind this website, it seems pretty silly for Mozilla not to have registered this domain to avoid this kind of thing from happening, considering how quickly they are getting through version numbers these days," he chided.

Mozilla announced earlier this year that it was stepping up the release schedule for its popular browser. To do that, Mozilla is sticking to a tight schedule and is no longer waiting for features to stabilize before pushing a version out the door.

The new rapid release schedule has prompted some developers to suggest that Mozilla forget version numbers entirely in future versions of Firefox. "We're moving to a more Web-like convention, where it's simply not important what version you're using as long as it's the latest version," Firefox Product Manager Asa Dotzler argued in a developers' forum.

Dotzler's comments poked a hornet's nest of controversy and a dump truck of personal attacks against the Firefox product manager. Things got so out of hand that the principal designer of the Firefox team, Alex Faaborg, had to step in and instruct the Mozilla faithful to mind their manners. However, Mozilla did eventually repudiate the idea of removing version numbers from Firefox.

Follow freelance technology writer John P. Mello Jr. and Today@PCWorld on Twitter.

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Firefoxapplicationsbrowser securitybrowserssoftwaremozilla

More about CiscoFBIGoogleMozillaMozilla FoundationSophos

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by John P. Mello, Jr.

Latest Videos

  • 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

  • 150x50

    IDG Live Webinar:The right collaboration strategy will help your business take flight

    Speakers - Mike Harris, Engineering Services Manager, Jetstar - Christopher Johnson, IT Director APAC, 20th Century Fox - Brent Maxwell, Director of Information Systems, THE ICONIC - IDG MC/Moderator Anthony Caruana

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts