The Mozilla consortium, which supports and directs development of the Firefox Web browser, has issued a number of important security updates for the popular alternative to Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (IE).

Eight separate patches were released yesterday, three of which Mozilla rated as critical.

The most serious of these fixes a vulnerability that could allow cyber crooks to download and install malware on users’ machines with no other user action than simply visiting a booby-trapped Web site. The patches apply to Firefox versions and 3.04.

Mozilla also notes that this will be the last set of updates for its 2.x series browsers, which it will cease to actively support at the end of this year. It’s probably a good time for users who haven’t already upgraded to version 3.x to do so. Give yourself an early Christmas present!

The latest Firefox patches have been pushed out to most users already, via the browser’s automatic update system. A pop-up in their Firefox browsers will tell users when the updates have arrived on their machines and instruct them to restart their browsers to activate the patches.

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