Browser Updates Fix Bugs, Weaknesses

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In this roundup of fixes, it’s all browsers this month. Google released Chrome 21, patching a number of dangerous PDF-viewer-related bugs. Mozilla tackled more vulnerabilities than usual, including an interesting drag-and-drop bug, and Apple released Safari 6.0, sealing multiple potential private information leaks.

Google Chrome Turns 21

Google released a number of security updates for the Google Chrome Stable Channel. These updates affect OS X and Linux (updated to Chrome 21.0.1180.57), as well as Windows and Chrome Frame (Chrome 21.0.1180.60).

Chrome 21 includes patches that address 15 security vulnerabilities. One vulnerability was rated critical; of the others, six were rated high, five medium, and three low. Five of the weaknesses affected Chrome’s built-in PDF viewer and could have caused memory corruption, a program crash, or other unexpected behavior. Google also patched a vulnerability that could give an attacker unusually broad file access via Chrome’s implementation of drag and drop, among other vulnerabilities, as well as several nonsecurity-related bugs.

Browse here and here for more on the Chrome 21 fixes.

Mozilla Posts Repairs

Mozilla released patches for 15 security advisories (the most in nearly two years), for Firefox, Thunderbird, and SeaMonkey. Five bugs are rated critical, four high, and six moderate.

Security researchers found a vulnerability that could enable a remote attacker to “short-circuit” a page load in Firefox via the drag-and-drop mechanism. Normally, when you drag and drop a URL into the address bar, that URL loads automatically. But the short-circuit, which is triggered by dragging and dropping a malicious address, lets hackers spoof the address bar and opens your system to phishing attacks.

Mozilla also identified and fixed several memory corruption bugs—rated high—in the browser engine used in Mozilla-based products that could potentially be exploited to run arbitrary code on your system. Another memory corruption bug could cause your program to crash.

These vulnerabilities and others are corrected in Firefox 13, 14, and ESR 10.0.6; Thunderbird 13, 14, and ESR 10.0.6; and SeaMonkey 2.11.

For more on the fixes, see Mozilla's Security Advisory, and specifically MFSA 2012-43, MFSA 2012-42, and MFSA 2012-52.

Apple Unveils Safari 6.0

Apple released Safari 6.0, and also patched two vulnerabilities in the company’s Xcode software development tools. Safari 6.0 patches a number of security vulnerabilities. Most notably, Apple patched memory corruption issues in its WebKit that could lead to unexpected crashes or arbitrary code execution. The Safari 6.0 update is available for OS X 10.7.4 and is included in OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion.

Apple also fixed shortcomings in Xcode 4.4 that could allow an attacker to gain access to and decrypt SSL-protected data as well as “keychains”—a secure storage system for certificates, passwords, and other private data.

More information is at these Apple security update pages: The first is for a variety of Apple products, the second for Safari 6, and the third for Xcode 4.4.

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