Netscape update fixes Firefox bugs

With release 8.0.4, Netscape is now up to date on security patches with the underlying Firefox Web browser software.

Joris Evers
Joris Evers Staff Writer, CNET News.com
Joris Evers covers security.
Netscape on Wednesday released a new version of Netscape 8 to bring the Web browser up to date on security patches with the underlying Firefox software.

Netscape 8.0.4 includes 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 1.0.7, which was made available by Mozilla last month.

Netscape, a division of Time Warner's America Online subsidiary, typically trails Mozilla by a few weeks when it comes to security updates. The company revamped its browser in August to catch up to July fixes in Firefox.

The latest update fixes nine vulnerabilities, including a flaw in the way the browser handles International Domain Names, which are Web addresses that use international characters.The bug could let attackers run code remotely on vulnerable computers.

The Netscape 8 update is the fifth since the software was launched in May. Users can expect an update warning in their browsers.

Netscape 8 is a "hybrid" Web browser. It uses Firefox's Gecko rendering, but users can also switch to Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser engine if a Web site does not display well.

Hewlett-Packard plans to deliver Netscape preinstalled on new consumer PCs and notebooks starting early next year. The agreement, announced early this month, is the first browser distribution deal with a major PC maker since the end of the browser wars in the 1990s, according to Netscape.