Mozilla fixes security hole

Bill Brenner

Mozilla has fixed a security hole an attacker could exploit to spoof the URL in your address bar and play similar tricks with SSL certificates and status bars. The glitch was reported earlier this month in a variety of browsers.

Danish security firm Secunia said in an advisory

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that the vulnerability is "moderately critical." It has offered a test users can run to see if their browsers are affected. As a workaround, the firm recommended users manually type URLs in the address bar
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Spoofing flaw in multiple browsers

and avoid links from untrusted sources.

The security hole is the "unintended result of the International Domain Name (IDN) implementation," which allows the use of international characters in domain names. "This can be exploited by registering domain names with certain international characters that resemble other commonly used characters, thereby causing the user to believe they are on a trusted site," Secunia said.

Secunia confirmed the condition in Mozilla 1.7.5, Firefox 1.0 and Thunderbird 1.0. Other versions may also be affected, the firm said. Mozilla has since fixed the problem in Firefox 1.0.1.

The same vulnerability was also found in:

  • Opera 7.54u1 and 7.54u2
  • Netscape 7.2
  • OmniWeb 5.1
  • Safari 1.2.4
  • Konqueror 3.2.2

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