Firefox out-of-band update, this time for Mac users only

Filed Under: Apple, Featured, Firefox, OS X, Vulnerability

Mozilla released an update to Firefox 5 yesterday - but for Mac users only. This takes Mac users of the popular browser to version 5.0.1. Everyone else stays at 5.0.

This isn't really a security fix: it deals with two reliability problems. One of these (Firefox crashes when using a downloadable font) manifests itself only on OS X 10.7, which isn't out yet; the other (the Java plugin stopped working after Apple's last Java update) affects only users of OS X 10.5, which is the previous version of Apple's operating system.

Users of Apple's current release of OS X, 10.6, aren't affected, but get the updated release of Firefox anyway.

Confused? Don't worry: the next scheduled update to the "release" version of Firefox is listed for 16 August 2011 - actually 17 August in much of the world - when Firefox's new rapid development mechanism will bump everyone up to version 6.

Unless, of course, there's a security update in the meantime. Presumably, if there is another emergency bugfix before V6 comes out, Mozilla will move the version number on all platforms to 5.0.2, just to keep things aligned.

Crashes, such as the OS X font problem in OS X 10.7, always imply some security risk, of course - whenever a program takes an uncharted and unexpected path of execution, there is cause for concern.

It's good to see that Mozilla is willing to produce this sort "between-the-train-stations" release, despite the proximity of the next version.

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7 Responses to Firefox out-of-band update, this time for Mac users only

  1. Axel Riemann · 1105 days ago

    Funny, but Mozilla.com this morning offered the Windows version as 5.0.1, too.
    Maybe in order to stay in sync with the Mac version numbering?

  2. Jason · 1105 days ago

    Hmmm. Doesn't alter the fact that Mozilla's approach (or lack of one) to their colossal memory leaks (at least on the Mac platform) means I am still using version 3.6.

    All the fuss over this seemingly inocuous fix makes me think there was a security scandal hiding in there somewhere which has now been neatly sidestepped.

    • Richard · 1104 days ago

      Plus the fact that v4 and higher are not supported on older PowerPC-based Macs, which has affected a couple of our customers. Telling them they have to spend £2.5K+ per user just to get the latest web browser isn't a popular move!

  3. Jeremy · 1104 days ago

    I'm on Firefox 7.0a2. It's SOOO fast. It uses less memory than chrome by my tests and I have opted into their auto feedback system which reports how much ram they are hogging on my computer. :P

  4. Randy Knobloch · 1104 days ago

    FF 5.01 applies to Windows as well, Paul
    As shown and available below > http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/all.html

  5. wonderful information, I had come to know about your blog from my friend nandu , hyderabad,i have read atleast 7 posts of yours by now, and let me tell you, your website gives the best and the most interesting information. This is just the kind of information that i had been looking for, i'm already your rss reader now and i would regularly watch out for the new posts, once again hats off to you! Thanks a ton once again, Regards, photoshop updates

  6. nihal · 448 days ago

    i am waiting for firefox OS,do you have idea when its going to launch in india

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About the author

Paul Ducklin is a passionate security proselytiser. (That's like an evangelist, but more so!) He lives and breathes computer security, and would be happy for you to do so, too. Paul won the inaugural AusCERT Director's Award for Individual Excellence in Computer Security in 2009. Follow him on Twitter: @duckblog