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.

#9 x.x.1 releases

by mqwtm

Friday March 12th, 2004 10:01 AM

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It seems to me that the simplest way to purvey security fixes is with x.x.1 releases. Say a major security bug was found in Firefox 0.8; once there is a fix, this patch should be inserted into the 0.8 source and released as 0.8.1 (i.e. without any of the new development in the nightlies that might decrease stablilty). If the patch for the nightlies isn't compatible with the last release version (for whatever reason), concoct one that is, shove that in the 0.8 source and distribute that as 0.8.1. This should become easier once Firefox has an automatic update notification system.