It took only five hours from the release of Firefox version 3.0 for a researcher to report a critical vulnerability in the open source browser.
The Zero Day Initiative of TippingPoint Technologies, which received the vulnerability hours after the new browser's June 17 release, said the vulnerability is a critical one that an attacker could exploit to execute arbitrary code on the compromised computer.
The Zero Day Initiative is a clearinghouse program that pays researchers for newly discovered vulnerabilities and passes them to vendors so that they can make fixes or issue patches created before the vulnerabilities become public.
The volunteer Mozilla project developed Firefox version 3, which is the fourth major release of the browser. The project said there are more than 15,000 improvements in the latest version, including a smart location bar, the ability to zoom in on a portion of a Web page, improved security and an integrated tool to manage add-ons. It also requires less memory.
According to TippingPoint, the vulnerability affects version 3.0 and 2.0x of the browser, meaning developers did not introduce it in the new release. It has been reported to the Mozilla project, which is working on a fix.
"Not unlike most browser-based vulnerabilities that we see these days, user interaction is required, such as clicking on a link in e-mail or visiting a malicious Web page," TippingPoint reported.
It is not releasing any other details of the vulnerability until a fix is available from Mozilla. The company will report the fix once it has been released.