RUS-CERT Criticizes Mozilla Security Bugs Policy

Thursday March 11th, 2004

Simon Paquet sent us a link to a German article from the Computer Emergency Response Team of the University of Stuttgart (RUS-CERT) that criticizes Mozilla's security policy.

Simon provides a translation of the key points of the article: "The RUS-CERT criticizes Mozilla's security approach to security leaks. They find fault in the fact that no official security advisories are published by the Mozilla Foundation. Instead security leaks are silently patched and incorporated into newer releases.

"They come to the conclusion, 'At the moment Mozilla is obviously no convincing alternative to the market leader [Microsoft].' In an update to their article, they state that this sentence was interpreted as saying that everyone should refrain from using Mozilla. This is not the case. They only state that Mozilla suffers from the same security problems as all other clients and that the use of Mozilla alone is no solution to those security problems."

The last major update to the Known Vulnerabilities in Mozilla page was in November. The Mozilla Security Bugs Policy explains how security flaws are handled.

#21 hmm...

by durbacher

Friday March 12th, 2004 5:10 PM

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> you'd have a choice of downloading a 10MB "patch" version instead of a 12MB full version

As bz mentioned, you don't have to update all of Mozilla to a new version (no matter how large that leap is). You might apply the patch to the last 1 or 2 stable releases and a) only ship the changed files or b) make a binary patch in its true meaning, i.e. the patch only changes the modified parts of the affected libraries, which results in relatively small patches I think. I'm not sure setting up an environment to automate most of this takes a lot of time. (Neither I say it's easy and quick!)