Firefox 3 sets a new Guinness World Record


3 Jul 2008

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No doubt aided by enthusiastic Irish Firefox fans, Mozilla has set a brand new Guinness World record for the highest number of software downloads in a 24-hour period with 8,002,530 downloads of web browser Firefox 3.

In the run up to download day, Mozilla users around the world helped spread the word and create excitement around the impending release by pledging in advance to download the web browser.

Firefox parties were also held around the globe to celebrate the eight million-plus downloads. As usual, the Irish know how to kick up their heels: we managed to have the biggest Firefox shindig out of all 771 parties across the 27 countries taking part.

The Irish Firefox party was hosted by Paul Walsh and Adrian McMahon of Segala with the help of Fergus Burns and Conor O’Neill of Web2Ireland.

“The enthusiasm and creativity of Firefox fans was instrumental in achieving this record,” said Paul Kim, VP of marketing at Mozilla

“Our community members came together and not only spread the word, but also took the initiative to help mobilise millions of people to demonstrate their belief that Firefox gives people the best possible online experience.”

Enthusiasm was slightly curbed by the sheer numbers trying to download the browser at once, which caused servers to crash, but once downloaded the bug hunters were out trying to find flaws in the new version.

“Five hours after the official release of Firefox 3.0 on 17 June, our Zero Day Initiative program received a critical vulnerability affecting Firefox 3.0,” said research organisation TippingPoint on its official blog.

“We verified the vulnerability in our lab, acquired it from the researcher, then promptly reported the vulnerability to the Mozilla security team shortly after. Successful exploitation of the vulnerability could allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code.

“Not unlike most browser-based vulnerabilities we see these days, user interaction is required, such as clicking on a link in email or visiting a malicious web page.”

The firm said Firefox is currently working on a fix but will not give any more information until a security patch is released.

By Marie Boran