Firefox 4.0.1 Is a Security and Stability Update
Article by George Norman
On 29 Apr 2011
Released on the 28th of April, Firefox 4.0.1 is the first update for the Firefox 4 browser and it is a stability and security update. The update, which carries the codename Macaw (Mozilla said it will use codenames for updates as well to help devs who follow the Firefox development closely) was supposed to be released on the 26th of April. Guess a 2-day delay is not that much.

Firefox 4.0 users should start to receive automatic update prompts shortly. If you did not receive an automatic update prompt, you can manually trigger an update by clicking Help -> About Firefox -> Check for Updates.


The 4.0.1 comes with 3 security advisories attached to it. Two are rated as Critical and one is rated Low. Here are the details Mozilla made public about these security advisories:

MFSA 2011-18
Title:XSLT generate-id() function heap address leak
Rating: Low
Description: The XSLT generate-id() function returned a string that revealed a specific valid address of an object on the memory heap. It is possible that in some cases this address would be valuable information that could be used by an attacker while exploiting a different memory corruption but, in order to make an exploit more reliable or work around mitigation features in the browser or operating system.
Affected software: Firefox, SeaMonkey.
Credit: Chris Evans of the Chrome Security Team.

MFSA 2011-17
Title: WebGLES vulnerabilities
Rating: Critical
Description: Crashes that could potentially be exploited to run malicious code were found in the WebGL feature and fixed in Firefox 4.0.1. In addition the WebGLES libraries could potentially be used to bypass a security feature of recent Windows versions.
Affected software: Firefox (version 4 only).
Credit: Christoph Diehl. Yuri Ko, Nils.

MFSA 2011-12
Title: Miscellaneous memory safety hazards (rv:2.0.1/
Rating: Critical.
Description: Several memory safety bugs in the browser engine used in Firefox and other Mozilla-based products. Some of these bugs showed evidence of memory corruption under certain circumstances. With enough effort at least some of these could be exploited to run arbitrary code
Affected software: Firefox, Thunderbird, SeaMonkey
Credit: Boris Zbarsky, Gary Kwong, Jesse Ruderman, Michael Wu, Nils, Scoobidiver, Ted Mielczarek, the web development team of Alcidion, Ian Beer, Bob Clary, Henri Sivonen, Marco Bonardo, Mats Palmgren, Aki Helin.

Tags: Mozilla, Firefox, Update, Security
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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