Mozilla fixes two Firefox zero-days being actively exploited

Firefox icon

Mozilla has moved fast to fix two Firefox browser zero-day vulnerabilities being actively exploited in the wild.

The flaws are both "use-after-free" vulnerabilities that could potentially allow attackers to execute arbitrary code or trigger crashes on machines running vulnerable versions of the Firefox browser.

The first bug, tracked as CVE-2020-6819, is tied to the browser component “nsDocShell destructor”, while the second zero-day, CVE-2020-6820, is linked to a race condition in the ReadableStream class, which is used to read a stream of data.

As per Mozilla's security advisory, the Firefox developers "are aware of targeted attacks in the wild abusing" these two critical flaws. However, details about the actual attacks where these two bugs are being exploited are still kept under wraps.

“Successful exploitation of the most severe of these vulnerabilities could allow for arbitrary code execution,” according to a Center for Internet Security bulletin.

“Depending on the privileges associated with the user, an attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights. Users whose accounts are configured to have fewer user rights on the system could be less impacted than those who operate with administrative user rights.”

The discovery of these vulnerabilities was credited to security researchers Francisco Alonso and Javier Marcos. Alonso tweeted there are “more details to be published (including other browsers),” indicating these flaws likely also affect other web browsers.

Fixes are available in Firefox 74.0.1 and are also available for Firefox 68 users with version 68.6.

Mozilla patched another actively exploited Firefox zero-day with the release of Firefox 72.0.1 in January, which it also warned was being used in targeted attacks. This critical flaw, branded CVE-2019-17026, allowed an attacker to seize control of an affected computer through a mechanism that leads to ‘type confusion’.

Carly Page

Carly Page is a freelance technology journalist, editor and copywriter specialising in cyber security, B2B, and consumer technology. She has more than a decade of experience in the industry and has written for a range of publications including Forbes, IT Pro, the Metro, TechRadar, TechCrunch, TES, and WIRED, as well as offering copywriting and consultancy services. 

Prior to entering the weird and wonderful world of freelance journalism, Carly served as editor of tech tabloid The INQUIRER from 2012 and 2019. She is also a graduate of the University of Lincoln, where she earned a degree in journalism.

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