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Mozilla Rushes Work on Firefox 3.5.1 to Address Serious Vulnerability

July 16, 2009

After discovery of a serious security hole left open by Mozilla Firefox’s new TraceMonkey JavaScript engine, the Mozilla organization chose not to wait until next week — as had been its plan on Tuesday — to open up availability of its version 3.5.1 bug fix. Instead, the completed build showed up on Mozilla’s FTP servers late Thursday morning, although access to that build through HTTP had been sporadic throughout the early afternoon.

Mozilla’s intention was to use 3.5.1 as a vehicle for tweaks to TraceMonkey that did not make the final cut when it came time for the organization to finally release version 3.5.  Tests to earlier private builds of 3.5.1 showed that some of those tweaks did appear to produce slight speed gains over and above 3.5. What we don’t know at the moment is whether all those tweaks actually did make it to the 3.5.1 version that’s being made available today. Since the “Shiretoko” developers track will now effectively be shifted to 3.5.2, evidence of which code got the final tweaks may only be determined through testing.

The organization is also going ahead, as planned, with beta tests of a security build for the older Firefox 3 series, to be called 3.0.12. Today’s release comes as Opera unveils its public Beta 2 for version 10 of its Web browser, and Google continues fast and furious with a Beta and Stable (regular user) update to Chrome 3, this time as an update and bug fix for possible memory corruption, the latest version of Google Gears, the JavaScript V8 engine, among other things

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