Firefox Memory Management Issues

There are millions of people who love Firefox for its simplicity and extensibility but few have ever ventured to see “what lies beneath.” We constantly hear about the great security that it will bring to you but many of us also know first-hand what the memory leaks are like.

Someone decided to use Klocwork’s K7 static analysis tool to analyze Firefox to see what kind of memory leaks, defects, and vulnerabilities they could come up with. The results were pretty staggering:

  • 446 null pointer dereferences
  • 141 memory management issues (pictured above)
  • 71 vulnerabilities
  • 68 uninitialized variables

As you can see there are several areas for concern but the tester did not post the specifics on any of the tests, especially the vulnerabilities. The information has been sent over to Mozilla so that they can look through the report to determine its validity.

The first thing that popped into my head was that Mozilla is working on a new release, Firefox 2, which is due out in 6-weeks. This new version fixes several memory leaks and numerous bugs but I guess Firefox is the mainstream version of Firefox right now. Too bad other Web browsers weren’t open source so that they could be put through the same test for comparison sake.

News Source: G2Zero [via SlashDot]