Netscape Users Vulnerable to New Security Breach

A new hole has been dug and Netscape users are falling in. A little java applet called Brown Orifice, named for a hacker utility called Back Orifice, is out there lurking in cyberspace. The applet can reside on any web site and you can’t see it if it’s there. If you access a web site containing the applet, the applet will run in the background, providing access to the files on your hard drive.

The applet was created by, Dam Brumleve, a security expert who chanced on the programming code last week. Brown Orifice is not all bad. The applet can be used non-maliciously for trading files among a community of users on different computers. In the wrong hands, however, the applet can cause a security breach.

In addition to lurking on web sites, the Brown Orifice applet can be sent in an email message and simply clicking on the message will activate the applet. When running, the applet provides full access to your files until Netscape is shut down. Netscape versions 4.5 to 4.7 are affected.

Netscape officials are aware of the problem and claim a fix will be available soon. Netscape version 6, which is due for release later this year, will not be vulnerable to this applet, according to Andrew Weinstein, a spokesman for Netscape. A preview version of Netscape 6 is currently available for download at the Netscape web site.

Meanwhile, Netscape users can turn off java, which will prevent the applet from running, by clicking on the Edit menu, choosing Preferences, then choosing the Advanced option. Make sure that the “Enable Java” option is not checked.

You may like these other stories...

How are you planning? What tools do you use (or fail to use) for forecasting? PlanGuru is a business budgeting, forecasting, and performance review software company based in White Plains, N.Y. AccountingWEB recently spoke...
Event Date: October 30, 2014, 2 pm ETMany Excel users have a love-hate relationship with workbook links. For the uninitiated, workbook links allow you to connect one Microsoft Excel spreadsheet to other spreadsheets, Word...
Event Date: September 9, 2014, 2:00 pm ETIn this session we'll discuss the types of technologies and their uses in a small accounting firm office. Included will be:The networked office: connecting everything together for...

Already a member? log in here.

Upcoming CPE Webinars

Aug 21
Meet budgets and client expectations using project management skills geared toward the unique challenges faced by CPAs. Kristen Rampe will share how knowing the keys to structuring and executing a successful project can make the difference between success and repeated failures.
Aug 26
This webcast will include discussions of recently issued, commonly-applicable Accounting Standards Updates for non-public, non-governmental entities.
Aug 28
Excel spreadsheets are often akin to the American Wild West, where users can input anything they want into any worksheet cell. Excel's Data Validation feature allows you to restrict user inputs to selected choices, but there are many nuances to the feature that often trip users up.
Sep 9
In this session we'll discuss the types of technologies and their uses in a small accounting firm office.