Firefox Security Issues Mitigated

Friday, April 29, 2016 @ 03:04 PM gHale


Mozilla patched 14 vulnerabilities with the release of its Firefox 46 browser.

Firefox 46 addresses four critical issues, described as memory safety bugs affecting the browser engine. The flaws, discovered by Mozilla developers, can lead to crashes and, in some circumstances, to arbitrary code execution.

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Of the five high severity issues resolved in the latest Firefox release, one was reported to Mozilla by the Communications-Electronics Security Group (CESG), the information security arm of the UK’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ).

“The CESG […] reported that the JavaScript .watch() method could be used to overflow the 32-bit generation count of the underlying HashMap, resulting in a write to an invalid entry,” Mozilla said in its advisory.

If certain conditions are met, it could be possible to exploit the flaw for arbitrary code execution, but Mozilla said an attacker would need to get the victim to keep a malicious page open for an extended period of time until the overflow ends up triggered.

Another high severity vulnerability, one an attacker could exploit via specially crafted web content to trigger a potentially exploitable crash, has been reported by researcher Sascha Just. The weakness, tracked as CVE-2016-2814, ends up caused by a buffer overflow in the libstagefright library.

A high severity vulnerability that only affects Firefox for Android came from the research team at Newcastle University in the UK. Researchers discovered an attacker can deduce touch actions by using JavaScript to access a mobile device’s orientation data and motion sensors. This can lead to the exposure of user activity and information, including the device’s PIN.

Another issue that only affects the Android version of Firefox came from Ken Okuyama. He found a moderate severity bug that allows a malicious application to read data, including browser history and locally saved passwords. Only Android versions prior to 5.0 suffer from the issue.

Researcher Loober Yang has been credited for identifying two high severity flaws related to Service Workers.