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This holiday weekend many of you will be kicking back with a cold one, firing up the grill, spectating your local fireworks display, and perhaps catching up on a videogame or two when the festivities all come to an end. But while you're busy unwinding, hackers continue to look for ways to distribute malicious code and exploit vulnerabilities. Don't let what's supposed to be a relaxing weekend turn into a hair-pulling experience because you were caught off guard.
Opera Software unveiled version 9.5 of its flagship browser less than a month ago, and the first major update is now available. Patching Opera to version 9.5.1 addresses several bugs and stability issues, and at least one "highly critical" vulnerability that could be used to execute arbitrary code. And it's not just Windows users that should install the update, but Mac OS X and Linux lovers too. Areas addressed in the update include:
For a detailed list of fixes, view the 9.5.1 changelog.
You've probably heard of the free VLC Media Player, and many of you might be using the open-source program as a Windows Media Player alternative. If so, consider putting VLC on a temporary vacation while a new update gets ready for release, or at least refrain from playing any unknown .WAV files. According to security compay Secunia, the latest version of VLC media player (0.8.6h) on Windows contains a "highly critical" vulnerability in form of an integer overflow error, and by creating a malicious .WAV file, an attacker could potentially take control of the victim's PC. The VideoLAN project knows about the vulnerability and will address it in version 0.8.6i, "which should be available soon," Secunia said.