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Netscape Needs Patch Hours After Debut

America Online's new Netscape 8 went from 0 to 3 bugs in less than 12 hours Thursday as it posted an update, tagged as 8.0.1, late the same day that saw it debut the hybrid browser.
America Online's new Netscape 8 went from 0 to 3 bugs in less than 12 hours Thursday as it posted an update, tagged as 8.0.1, late the same day that saw it debut the hybrid browser.

Netscape 8.0 was built using the code from Firefox 1.0.3, but Mozilla recently upgraded its browser to fix several vulnerabilities. With the update released Thursday, Netscape is now a clone, security-wise, with the current Firefox 1.0.4.

One of Netscape's most intriguing features is that it includes both the Gecko (used in Firefox) and Microsoft Internet Explorer rendering engines, and automatically switches from one to the other, depending on user preference or the perceived security of the site.

Without the update, users visiting sites rendered with the Gecko engine could be at risk. Attackers could use the now-patched vulnerabilities to take control of a PC simply by getting a user to visit a malicious Web site.

Details on the fixes in Netscape 8.0.1 have been posted on Netscape's support section, and the new version can be downloaded from the home page of AOL's Netscape site.

Unlike Microsoft's IE, Firefox and now Netscape 8 don't patch bugs by installing a small update file, but instead require users to download and run the entire installation file.

Firefox is working on an improved patch and update mechanism that may appear as early as version 1.1, which is expected this summer.