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Popular Firefox Inching Towards Malware’s Target

Firefox provides a worry-free browsing and with a lightweight package is a favorite of many Internet users. Firefox easily escapes the deluge of spyware that is known to slow down a PC. In this respect Firefox browser is more preferred to Microsoft's Internet Explorer. But according to spyware experts, as the open source browser becomes popular it is likely to become target of spyware creators. Firefox, that was earlier an alternative browser now holds 15 percent of the browser market and is considered a 'commercially interesting' target for spyware writers.

People who write malware codes are spreading their reach far and wide and Firefox users are getting caught in it. Andy Patrizo has reported this trend in August and there are all indications of an increase in malware as the browser becomes more popular.

Late last month the virus detection labs discovered an exploit named Infostealer.Snifula. It exploits the Firefox browser in its "Cross-Platform Component Object Models" (XPCOMs). The XPCOMs are used to build the extensions of Firefox that has made it so widely acceptable at the very beginning.

In a report on Symantec's 'Security Response' site there is a notification that e-mail with a ZIP file attachment has been spammed out. Anyone who opens the attachment will allow a Trojan horse called "Downloader.Traus" to download and install Infostealer.Snifula on the computer system. The exploit would then collect contents of secret data whether it is the user's bank or a Yahoo login and send that information to a hacker.

In this connection Mike Schroepfer, vice president of engineering for "The Mozilla Foundation" emphasized on the need to pertain caution with 'attachments'. He says that although this malware hides itself by spoiling a Firefox installation, it is of a similar nature as any other malware that a user might unwittingly install from a spam mail or malicious website.

Firefox was created as a way out of the world of Internet Explorer exploits but it has its own flaws that can be turned to one's advantage. People are advised to be careful with regard to installing software from unauthorized sources, especially unknown files that come as attachments to e-mails.

Related article: Popular Shopping Site Loses User Data That Goes Up for Sale

» SPAMfighter News - 9/18/2006

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