Firefox 3 goes for Guinness, Australia declares love

The Mozilla Project has smashed its target of five million Firefox 3 downloads in 24 hours, achieving a final tally of 8,290,545, and a six percent share of the total browser market

The Mozilla Project has smashed its target of five million Firefox 3 downloads in 24 hours, achieving a final tally of 8,290,545, and a six percent share of the total browser market.

Mozilla was aiming to set a Guinness world record for the total number of downloads of a piece of software in a 24-hour period. As part of its marketing effort, it encouraged users to pledge to download Firefox 3 on its release, and to hold download parties.

Online metrics company Net Applications said market share of Firefox 3 peaked at 6.2 percent of all browser usage at 5am EDT on 19 June — less than 48 hours after release.

Just under 300,000 of the downloads in the first 24 hours came from the UK, with the vast majority — 6.5 million — from the US.

Australia has meanwhile currently has just under 200,000 downloads of Firefox 3, making it one of the most popular destinations for Firefox 3 in the world. At the time of writing, total downloads had reached around 12 million.

Writing in the Mozilla Project blog, the team noted they will need to be patient "as our judges and Guinness World Records validate our record attempt. We'll keep our map up and tracking downloads on Spread Firefox".

The judges will be reviewing the 24-hour period from 11:16am PDT on 17 June.

Meanwhile Opera 9.5 — the latest version of the Nordic browser — achieved over 4.7 million downloads in its first five days, said Opera. Although the number is dwarfed by Firefox's success, Opera reports that use of its browser has doubled since version 9.0 debuted in 2006, with 32 million users, including 12 million users of the mobile-phone version.

First day for Firefox 3 exposes flaw

However, less than one day after its launch, a vulnerability was found in Firefox 3.

According to Tipping Point's Zero Day Initiative, the vulnerability, which it rates as critical, was reported within the first five hours of Firefox 3's release.

"Once the vulnerability was verified in TippingPoint's DVLabs and acquired from the researcher, the vulnerability was promptly reported to the Mozilla security team," said a representative.

Although the Zero Day Initiative team does not offer specifics until the vendor has a chance to patch it, the blog post did say this vulnerability, which also affects Firefox 2, requires user interaction and could result in an attacker executing arbitrary code.

Mozilla is reported to be working on a fix.

The Zero Day Initiative has been criticised in the past for paying researchers who find vulnerabilities.

ZDNet.com.au's Liam Tung contributed to this story.

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