Google, Mozilla Patch Browsers Before Pwn2Own Hacker Contest

Google and Mozilla have updated their browsers ahead of the annual Pwn2Own hacking contest.

Mozilla and Google are getting a head start on next week's Pwn2Own contest by patching flaws in their respective browsers.

Mozilla rolled out patches Tuesday for 10 security flaws in Firefox, including eight rated "critical." The other two vulnerabilities were rated "High" and "Moderate," respectively.

The move by Mozilla follows Google's patching of 19 flaws in Chrome. All but three of the Chrome bugs were rated "High," with the three remaining vulnerabilities classified as "Medium."

The highest reward from Google was $1,000, and was passed on to various researchers for their work on different bugs, including a URL bar spoof and an integer overflow in textarea handling.

The Firefox bugs run the gamut from a use-after-free error in JSON.stringify to a buffer overflow in JavaScript upvarMap, which were both among the critical bugs. Other critical flaws include a bug discovered by security researcher Jordi Chancel that can cause a crash if triggered by a corrupted JPEG image.

"Security researcher Jordi Chancel reported that a JPEG image could be constructed that would be decoded incorrectly, causing data to be written past the end of a buffer created to store the image," Mozilla warned in its advisory. "An attacker could potentially craft such an image that would cause malicious code to be stored in memory and then later executed on a victim's computer."

Both sets of patches have arrived with the start of the annual Pwn2Own contest at the CanSecWest Applied Security Conference right around the corner. The annual contest pits hackers against both popular browsers and devices such as the Apple iPhone. Last month, Google announced it was sweetening the pot by offering a $20,000 reward for the researcher who can take down its Chrome browser, which has in the past emerged from the contest unscathed.

The competition will run from March 9 through 11.