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A Little Patch Housekeeping

Security Fix has been a tad sparse on patch updates lately because I've been taking some use-it-or-lose-it vacation time. The time off served as a good reminder of how quickly the programs on your machine can get outdated even in just a few weeks time.

Last Tuesday, Mozilla released security updates for its Firefox Web browser and Thunderbird e-mail software. The Firefox updates fixed at least three separate "critical" security bugs in the browser, but people using the new 2.0 version of Firefox do not have to worry. Normally, Firefox will alert you when there are updates available; for some reason, my copy of Firefox didn't, but I was able to download the update by clicking on "Help" and then "Check for Updates."

Speaking of browser updates, I'm way late on blogging about an important update for Opera users. In mid-October, the company shipped a patch to fix what appears to be a very serious and easy-to-exploit flaw in the browser that bad guys could use to install software just by getting an Opera user to click on a really long hyperlink. The vulnerability is present in versions 9.0 and 9.01 on Windows and Linux (version 8.x is reportedly not affected). Opera 9.0 users should make sure they're using the latest version, v. 9.0.2.

There is also a new version of AOL's Nullsoft Winamp media player available that fixes what appear to be a pair of pretty serious security holes. The current, patched version is Winamp 5.31.

Finally, my personal favorite software application to write about -- Java. -- also received more updates recently. The current version of the J2SE Runtime Environment (something most people probably don't even know is on their machine) is JRE 5.0 Update 9. There do not appear to be any security fixes in Update 9 that weren't also included in Update 8, but for some reason I never covered Update 8 when it was released so I'm mentioning it here. If you are running Update 8 already, I see no reason to go through the whole process again unless you're having problems with the program. Remember, it's important to uninstall any previous versions of Java that remain on your machine after updating.

By Brian Krebs  |  November 13, 2006; 11:40 AM ET
Categories:  New Patches  
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