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New Firefox patches authentication security holes

Two critical problems with how Mozilla's browser handles authentication processes could let an attacker see encrypted data or take over a machine.

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Stephen Shankland principal writer
Stephen Shankland has been a reporter at CNET since 1998 and writes about processors, digital photography, AI, quantum computing, computer science, materials science, supercomputers, drones, browsers, 3D printing, USB, and new computing technology in general. He has a soft spot in his heart for standards groups and I/O interfaces. His first big scoop was about radioactive cat poop.
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  • I've been covering the technology industry for 24 years and was a science writer for five years before that. I've got deep expertise in microprocessors, digital photography, computer hardware and software, internet standards, web technology, and other dee
Stephen Shankland

Mozilla on Monday released two new versions of Firefox, 3.5.2 and 3.0.13, to patch two critical security holes. You can download the Windows and Mac versions of 3.5.2 from CNET Download.com, or go to Mozilla for the Linux build and Firefox 3.0.13.

"We strongly recommend that all Firefox users upgrade to this latest release," Mozilla said in a blog posting about the security issue.

The first vulnerability could let an attacker run arbitrary code on a person's computer by sending specially crafted authentication information called certificate.

The second vulnerability, disclosed last week, involves a flaw in certificate authentication technology that could potentially let an attacker gain access to encrypted information or issue a bogus update to Firefox.