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Security

Netscape catches up to Firefox patches

New version of Netscape 8 brings it as up to date on security as its underlying Firefox Web browser.

Netscape has released a new version of Netscape 8 to bring the Web browser as up to date on security patches as the underlying Firefox software.

Netscape 8.0.3.3, launched Monday, includes all the fixes that have been made in the Firefox browser, according to the update's release notes. That means it has all patches through Firefox version 1.0.6, which was issued by its development group, the Mozilla Foundation, last month.

Netscape, a division of Time Warner's America Online subsidiary, revamped its browser two weeks ago to repair the two most serious vulnerabilities of a dozen that had been discovered. (The two security holes had been plugged earlier in July in Firefox, the open-source browser on which Netscape 8 is based.) Monday's update tackles the remaining 10 bugs, Netscape spokesman Andrew Weinstein said.

The Netscape 8 revamp is the fourth since the software was launched in May. Users will get an update warning in their browser, Weinstein said.

Netscape 8 includes features to protect people against online scams such as phishing and spyware. While it uses Firefox's Gecko rendering engine by default, it also supports Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser engine, which is part of Windows. Netscape lets people toggle between the browser engines, a feature that many people see as useful, since sites are often designed specifically to work with IE.