Sad state of news.

I hate, again, to do this. But please read on.

Regarding the following article, I have written this letter to the CNet News.com editors.

To whom it may concern,

I am writing in response to the article published earlier today, entitled “Unpatched Firefox 1.5 exploit made public.” I would like to point out that this article contains grossly uninformed opinion and speculation on a subject that doesn’t need any undue attention.

First, browser wars and personal choices aside; saying that a bug, and YES this is only a bug, in Firefox is a “denial-of-service” exploit is horribly incorrect. I know that there isn’t a dictionary definition for the phrase denial-of-service, but among the web saavy, a denial-of-service attack is a network bandwidth based flood-attack on a particular computer or server that prevents it from functioning normally. The article falsely claims that because Firefox stops responding, it creates a denial-of-service condition. Preventing a user from using Firefox is NOT a denial-of-service condition. Causing a users internet connection to stop functioning, however, is.

Second, the article states that this BUG is an exploit. An exploit indicates that the cause of this BUG is able to be used in a malicious manner, which it is not. Furthermore, no proof at all other than some vague quotes from internet security “experts” is offered. I mean, the people at Mozilla, and for that matter, people in general, have been unable to reproduce or confirm this BUG.

And finally, no one has found a website in the wild that causes this BUG to appear in their browser. To me, this whole article was only written to bring in pageviews, and incite inflamatory discussion on the web(which it has,) seeing that many major news sites have picked up this story and run with it. Bringing negative attention to a problem that doesn’t exist is sensationalist journalism, and is something that really bothers me. IF anyone could prove that this is a problem, and that it is a security risk to the 8% of people browsing the web with Firefox(exactly how many of that 8% are using Windows XP SP2?) then it would be worth a story. But until that time, all that the writers of CNet News.com are doing is fanning the flames of false information.

Please, in the future, make sure your writers take the time to check the facts, verify sources of information, and LEARN their story-related word definitions.

Thankyou for your time, and good day,
Ben Foote
Baltimore, MD

Hang your head in sadness as Firefox is again dragged through the mud. Remember, spread the truth, not gospel.

In other news, water is wet, the sun is hot, and so on.

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