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Mozilla offers temporary fix for Firefox flaw

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Responding to the disclosure of a serious Web browser flaw, the Mozilla Foundation offered on Friday a temporary fix to protect Firefox and Mozilla users.

The downloadable fix protects against attacks that take advantage of a new, unpatched flaw that could let attackers secretly run malicious software on users' PCs. The flaw was disclosed late Thursday by security researcher Tom Ferris, sending Mozilla staff into damage-control mode.

"This is a temporary work-around just to deal with the immediate issue," Schroepfer said. "We're working on a future release in which we will actually fix the problem and re-enable the IDN feature." Switching off IDN support impacts a subset of Firefox and Mozilla users who actually use such special domain names, he said.
Though there is no known attack that takes advantage of the flaw, Mozilla advises Firefox and Mozilla users to disable IDN. "Luckily we do not have any known use of this exploit, but it is fairly critical if there were to be (an attack), so this is a recommended download," Schroepfer said.

In addition to the downloadable fix, Mozilla on its Web site also offers instructions to manually disable IDN: Type "about:config" in the address bar, hit Enter; type "network.enableIDN" in the filter toolbar, hit Enter; right-click the "network.enableIDN" item and select Toggle to change value to false.

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