Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Risk

7/30/2008
07:56 PM
George V. Hulme
George V. Hulme
Commentary
50%
50%

Radware Reveals Critical Vulnerability In Firefox 3

Well, not exactly "critical." But there is a flaw. And there is no patch. And so Radware demonstrates how many security vendors push their gear by spreading fear, uncertainty, and doubt on the user community.

Well, not exactly "critical." But there is a flaw. And there is no patch. And so Radware demonstrates how many security vendors push their gear by spreading fear, uncertainty, and doubt on the user community.Radware's bug find, according to Radware, is a "vulnerability that may cause application Denial of Service (DoS) in Firefox 3, Mozilla's latest Web browser application."

This sounds very scary, huh? A critical DoS in Firefox. And Radware's PR firm wanted to make certain that I understood the world was coming to an end. Here's how they introduced the criticality of the issue before us today:

"While we often like to assume there is safety in numbers, such an argument may not apply for today's Web browser environment. In their ongoing security efforts, Radware announced that it has discovered a critical vulnerability in the Firefox 3 Web browser application by Mozilla. Firefox 3 recently set a new Guinness world record for the most software downloads in a 24-hour period with 8,002,530 downloads of the software upon its launch this summer.

Upon reading this, I immediately rushed out to see if there was a patch. Nothing. I then went to some security bulletin boards. Again, Nothing.

The only fixed proffered by Radware was to, and this is a shocker, use its security gear:

Immediate protection from this vulnerability is available as part of Radware's Security Update Service (SUS), which seeks to safeguard customer infrastructures in advance of public disclosure of the flaw.

I sat at my desk, and I wondered for awhile: should I yank my modem cable out the wall?

Nah.

It was some time later in the morning when Mozilla spoke up, and they labeled the vulnerability as being low. From Mozilla's Security Blog:

Impact: If a user browses to a malicious page that takes advantage of this vulnerability, the browser will crash. A feature in Firefox called Session Restore will restore the browser session when Firefox is restarted and will likely save user-typed content in text areas as well. This feature is designed to save users' work in the event of a crash or browser restart.

Status: This issue is currently under investigation. Mozilla has assigned this bug an initial severity rating of low because of the minimal security risk to users.

So what we have here is a flaw in Firefox that could crash the browser, and any data managed by the browser in RAM may go poof. But that data would be restored, according to Mozilla, by its Session Restore feature.

So where's the criticality? Where's the big-time remote insertion of code? Authentication escalation? Folks, it doesn't seem to be there.

In fact, I just haven't been able to find anything in this vulnerability find worth causing a ruckus about, let alone announcing to the world.

What Radware has done is serve us a bad dish of fear, uncertainty, and doubt; aka: FUD. And it's a marketing tactic designed to sell equipment, or influence the market by muddying facts and spreading fear. And this vulnerability announcement, dubbed "critical" and dumped on the industry without a patch, work-around, or co-coordinated disclosure with Mozilla, is FUD at its worst, and a marketing cheap shot.

And Radware chose -- a security company actually thought it through and consciously decided -- to hype up a low-risk flaw as a critical flaw without offering any fix. And they did this on the very same week that organizations and ISPs are rushing to fix and patch a real risk, the DNS vulnerability. And they chose to do this a day after Oracle users had to start grappling with the full disclosure and exploit-code release against their WebLogic Servers.

Vendors that act this way care more about their marketing efforts than they care about their customers and prospects.

And when I approached Radware to substantiate why their press release is more than FUD, this was their response:

"Radware has no further comment beyond what's in the press release."

Wow.

Seems, to me at least, to be pretty shabby form for a company that purports to help companies better secure their infrastructure.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Overcoming the Challenge of Shorter Certificate Lifespans
Mike Cooper, Founder & CEO of Revocent,  10/15/2020
7 Tips for Choosing Security Metrics That Matter
Ericka Chickowski, Contributing Writer,  10/19/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
Special Report: Computing's New Normal
This special report examines how IT security organizations have adapted to the "new normal" of computing and what the long-term effects will be. Read it and get a unique set of perspectives on issues ranging from new threats & vulnerabilities as a result of remote working to how enterprise security strategy will be affected long term.
Flash Poll
How IT Security Organizations are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
How IT Security Organizations are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
The COVID-19 pandemic turned the world -- and enterprise computing -- on end. Here's a look at how cybersecurity teams are retrenching their defense strategies, rebuilding their teams, and selecting new technologies to stop the oncoming rise of online attacks.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-27621
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-22
The FileImporter extension in MediaWiki through 1.35.0 was not properly attributing various user actions to a specific user's IP address. Instead, for various actions, it would report the IP address of an internal Wikimedia Foundation server by omitting X-Forwarded-For data. This resulted in an inab...
CVE-2020-27620
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-22
The Cosmos Skin for MediaWiki through 1.35.0 has stored XSS because MediaWiki messages were not being properly escaped. This is related to wfMessage and Html::rawElement, as demonstrated by CosmosSocialProfile::getUserGroups.
CVE-2020-27619
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-22
In Python 3 through 3.9.0, the Lib/test/multibytecodec_support.py CJK codec tests call eval() on content retrieved via HTTP.
CVE-2020-17454
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-21
WSO2 API Manager 3.1.0 and earlier has reflected XSS on the "publisher" component's admin interface. More precisely, it is possible to inject an XSS payload into the owner POST parameter, which does not filter user inputs. By putting an XSS payload in place of a valid Owner Name, a modal b...
CVE-2020-24421
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-21
Adobe InDesign version 15.1.2 (and earlier) is affected by a memory corruption vulnerability due to insecure handling of a malicious .indd file, potentially resulting in arbitrary code execution in the context of the current user. User interaction is required to exploit this vulnerability.