Follow Us

We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message

Firefox site hacked again

Now who's insecure?

Article comments

For the second time in three months, a security breach has shut down the marketing website used to promote the Firefox browser. Late Monday, members of the Spread Firefox community were notified that their Spread Firefox site had been hit by attackers looking to exploit a bug in the TWiki collaboration software, which had been running on the server.

The Mozilla Foundation does not believe that any sensitive information was compromised in the attack, but it is encouraging the approximately 100,000 Spread Firefox members to reset their passwords. "With these things it's hard to determine the exact nature of what happened," said Mike Schroepfer, director of engineering with the Foundation's Mozilla subsidiary. "We don't believe that people were successful in getting any of that personal or sensitive information, but we're erring on the side of caution."

Spread Firefox is best known as the organisation that raised more than US$200,000 to run a two-page Firefox ad in The New York Times last year.

In July of 2005, attackers accessed the Spread Firefox server, apparently for the purpose of sending spam. That attack compromised information such as member e-mail addresses, instant messaging names, street addresses and birthdays.

After the July attack, the Mozilla Foundation changed procedures to be sure that security fixes were applied to the Spread Firefox server software, but administrators overlooked the TWiki application, which was no longer being used, Schroepfer said. "This one particular piece of software was an oversight and happened to not get updated," he said.

The Mozilla team discovered the attack over the past weekend, but it appears to have been launched several weeks earlier. "The vulnerability on the TWiki software was announced on the 15 of September," Schroepfer said. "It looked like the first few attempts happened within 12 to 36 hours of those announcements going out."

Administrators will spend the next few weeks rebuilding the site, which is expected to be back online around 15 October.

Once widely considered a more secure alternative to Internet Explorer, Firefox has seen its reputation decline of late. Last month, security vendor Symantec reported that Firefox had more confirmed security vulnerabilities than IE during the first half of 2005.

Firefox countered that it ended up with a larger number of vulnerabilities - 25 as opposed to Microsoft's 13 - because Microsoft tends to roll a number of bugs into one vulnerability report.



Share:

More from Techworld

More relevant IT news

Comments



Send to a friend

Email this article to a friend or colleague:

PLEASE NOTE: Your name is used only to let the recipient know who sent the story, and in case of transmission error. Both your name and the recipient's name and address will not be used for any other purpose.

Techworld White Papers

Choose – and Choose Wisely – the Right MSP for Your SMB

End users need a technology partner that provides transparency, enables productivity, delivers...

Download Whitepaper

10 Effective Habits of Indispensable IT Departments

It’s no secret that responsibilities are growing while budgets continue to shrink. Download this...

Download Whitepaper

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Information Archiving

Enterprise information archiving is contributing to organisational needs for e-discovery and...

Download Whitepaper

Advancing the state of virtualised backups

Dell Software’s vRanger is a veteran of the virtualisation specific backup market. It was the...

Download Whitepaper

Techworld UK - Technology - Business

Innovation, productivity, agility and profit

Watch this on demand webinar which explores IT innovation, managed print services and business agility.

Techworld Mobile Site

Access Techworld's content on the move

Get the latest news, product reviews and downloads on your mobile device with Techworld's mobile site.

Find out more...

From Wow to How : Making mobile and cloud work for you

On demand Biztech Briefing - Learn how to effectively deliver mobile work styles and cloud services together.

Watch now...

Site Map

* *