back to article Memory-hogging bug offers universal browser crash exploit

Security researchers have published details of a security flaw that can crash multiple browsers across multiple platforms. There are many more flaws out there that are more serious, but the security shortcomings in JavaScript's DOM (Document Object Model) are nonetheless noteworthy because the issue affects Firefox, Safari, …


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  1. Grease Monkey Silver badge

    Let's be fair to MS for once...

    I thought IE didn't handle Java natively these days. Don't you have to install the Sun runtime if you want to run Java in IE?

    As such there's not a lot MS can do about it other than wait for Sun to update their code.

  2. Doug

    don't work on Firefox

    Don't work on Firefox 3.5.1

  3. Anonymous Coward

    RE: Grease Monkey

    Java != JavaScript

  4. Len Goddard

    Javascript, not java

    Nothing to do with java or sun. So we can happily go back to blaming M$ since firefox/opera have already managed to fix the problem.

  5. Anonymous Coward

    Not to worry...

    According to the link, Microsoft says they'll fix it in IE9. So that's alright then.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Isn't FF wonderful?

    With no-script add-on, of course.

  7. Richard Porter

    Shouldn't be a problem with NetSurf then.

    Javascript = what javascript?

  8. The First Dave


    So, apparently if you ask a browser to do an awful lot of work, it sometimes has problems?

    Is that why my Fibonacci sequence won't run for more than a day or two on any machine?

  9. Ginger The Cat

    Kazehakase looks ok

    Kazehakase on Ubuntu looks ok so me and the other 3 guys will be ok :)

  10. IndianaJ

    Let's be fair to Grease Monkey

    We've all made that mistake once. It was 12 years ago for me and still bear the scars from a Java devver.

    Back on topic, doesn't work in FF 3.011 either. *click* *click* *click* NS_DOM_ERROR_NOT_SUPPORTED.

    Amazed at Ubuntu killing of random processes though.

  11. Steven Knox

    DOM is NOT part of JavaScript

    See title (and

  12. E 2

    Can do this to most any box without a browser

    while (1)

    void *foo = malloc(1000000);

    Not the memory leak, just the massive allocation.

    And though it isn't memory, there's always this gem:

    while (1)


    Whats the big deal?

  13. Anonymous Coward

    At last a fair opportunity

    to compare the vulnerabilities and patching priorities of all browsers across all platforms. See which browsers are fixed first and download them. Those that come in last are the least worth your consideration. Then everyone could shut up about browsers.

  14. Joe Futrelle

    browsers are memory hogging bugs already

    lynx forever!

  15. Charlie Barnes


    "by tricking a browser into allocating huge chunks of memory"

    You mean trying to use ITV's TV Guide?

  16. James O'Brien

    What? No mention about Safari?

    All the other browsers have either fixed it or are letting it be (M$) but what about the golden child of the computing world?

    Oh wait, thats right. Any mention of it on the forums will be deleted the user account deleted and the long arm of the lawyers with a defamation lawsuit to those who dared to badmouth Apple. My bad.

    /Yes yes let the flames commence.

  17. Cameron Colley

    Forget the browsers!

    Seems that Linux, or Kubuntu at least, fails it's duty as an operating system.

    After watching Konqueror eat its way through 6GB of physical and 4GB of swap memory I can only conclude that I need to find a Linux kernel that actually works or get the NVIDIA drivers working under BSD or OpenSolaris ASAP.

    Who knew mainstream Linux wasn't an operating system?

  18. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Thumb Down

    More an implementation failure than a language failure

    But isn't memory consumption always an issue in mobile devices?

  19. Jeremy 2

    It's a bit of a slow burner though...

    I've clicked the button in IE8 about 3 minutes ago and it's currently sitting on a whopping 9.5MB of RAM and growing at a bit less than 1MB/minute. Admittedly it is growing but at this ratei it'll take about 24 hours to max out the physical memory I've got free and that's before it even starts paging...

  20. Anonymous Coward

    "Grease Monkey"

    Say, with that handle, are you trying to write Greasemonkey scripts using Java by any chance?

    That could explain any problems you've been experiencing.

  21. Anonymous Coward

    Not my Firefox, it doesn't

    Just tested it with FF 3.0.11. A whole lot of nuffin happened. So there's only reason to panic if you haven't updated to latest patch, innit? Same old, same old...

  22. Steve Foster

    @AC 15:40

    Yes, but will it be allowed into the EU?

  23. LaeMi Qian


    Javascript's only relationship to Java was a desire to ride the former on the latter's coat-tails back when Java was going to solve world hunger and then some.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    N97 seems to be immune

    Just tried it out on my N97, nothing happens. Either the script doesn't work there or it's been fixed already.

  25. Anonymous Coward

    I wonder...

    if I can I embed JavaScript in an email and send it to my mates new JesusPhone?

  26. Anonymous Coward

    "The flaw works by tricking a browser into allocating huge chunks of memory"

    I thought that was the default behaviour for Firefox?

  27. Martin Nicholls

    You could...

    Write 'exploits' like that till the cows come home.

    I wrote one about 4 months ago that does exactly the same thing but faster with simpler code - on 64bit browsers /really/ fun stuff happens. Takes out opera, firefox, ie, safari.. you name it.

    Don't see why these guys get credit for stating the obvious.

  28. Tom Chiverton 1

    Surprised ?

    You shouldn't be surprised at what happens on 'nix systems, as that is what the last-ditch kernel-based out-of-memory process killer does - trys to keep the O/S up by killing the hogs.

  29. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart

    That's nothing....

    I've run my college final year (a natty little DOS based application) project on nearly every version of windoze I ever had access to, the best result was a total lock-up, usually I got the BSOD.

    Still, what do you expect, writing directly to the screen.... Ahhhhh those were the days.....

  30. Oninoshiko

    Re: Cameron Colley

    NVIDIA's drivers should work out of the box on OpenSolaris. In addition they are heavily tested as SMI ships NVIDIA boards in a number of their products.

    Mine's the one with 2009.06 and an NVIDIA card in the pocket...

  31. DarkHorseDre


    .. that the code does NOT loop to cause this failure!

    Pretty poor after 9 years and as a standard 'feature' of ...DOM..

    Top marks to M$ for "just saying no" - But Bill, I just downloaded IE8!??!

    *I downloaded it as there are times when we are forced to use IE....

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