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Mozilla Security

Mozilla Patches Critical Bug in Thunderbird (threatpost.com) 76

Mozilla has issued a critical security update to its popular open-source Thunderbird email client. From a report The patch was part of a December release of five fixes that included two bugs rated high and one rated moderate and another low. Mozilla said Thunderbird, which is also serves as a news, RSS and chat client, the latest Thunderbird 52.5.2 version released last week fixes the vulnerabilities. The most serious of the fixes is a critical buffer overflow bug (CVE-2017-7845) impacting Thunderbird running on Windows operating system. The bug is present when "drawing and validating elements with angle library using Direct 3D 9," according to the Mozilla Foundation Security Advisory. US-Cert said it encourages users and administrators to review the patch and apply the necessary update.
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Mozilla Patches Critical Bug in Thunderbird

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  • I ask because in my [limited] professional life, I know of exactly zero entities using this software.

    Am I missing out on anything? Can someone more knowledgeable advise me of why I should use Thunderbird over Outlook or GMail?

    • by SadOldTechie ( 248230 ) on Wednesday December 27, 2017 @10:18AM (#55814759)

      Thunderbird is open source if that's of consequence to you. It's freely available and not paid for like Outlook. It will also store your email locally so that if you are offline you can still get your email and not rely on cloud providers to always be available to you.

    • by Jody Bruchon ( 3404363 ) on Wednesday December 27, 2017 @10:31AM (#55814813)
      Thunderbird can two-way sync with Google Calendar and Contacts. Outlook didn't the last time I checked, although I hear it can as of the newest version.

      Outlook stores everything in a huge PST file; Thunderbird uses textual mbox files and a simple directory structure.

      Moving a Thunderbird profile (which includes all settings, contacts, mail, saved passwords, accounts, everything) from one place to another is as simple as copying the ~/.thunderbird or %appdata%\Thunderbird folder to the same place in the other user account; Outlook has to be set up from scratch every single time and have the PST files imported and the placeholder empty PST they forcibly create (again, perhaps not with newer versions) disabled and deleted manually.

      Thunderbird is light-years faster than Outlook.

      Thunderbird is open source.

      Thunderbird works on Linux.

      Thunderbird is free as in both beer and freedom.

      Thunderbird has better view options, a simpler interface, a massively better heuristic junk mail filter, way nicer IMAP integration (none of that strike-through nonsense when you delete mail), and it even handles RSS feeds extremely well.

      Relative to Gmail, it's a local mail app so it's much faster to work with, it's less confusing that Gmail, the icons for everything are clearer than the stupid decisions made by Gmail, and the folder organization is much easier to use than the brain-dead "labels-as-folders" in Gmail.

      The message filter capabilities are way better and more useful than both Outlook and Gmail, the search functionality is more robust than both, and searches can be saved as "search folders" that dynamically build based on a desired search.

      I could go on, but I think you get the idea. Source: used Thunderbird for roughly a decade, converted many businesses to it despite external pressures to use Outlook.

      Oh, one tip: if someone sends an Outlook-specific winmail.dat email to you, get the LookOut extension for Thunderbird and it'll let you view it as a normal email.
      • Thanks!!!

        You said, "I could go on..." Please do.

        Outlook changes the font and font size. Outlook puts non-HTML codes in HTML.
        • Keyboard shortcuts for handy things, even obscure ones. CTRL+U for "view message source" for example. This makes certain techie tasks way easier. To send a full message source to Spamcop's web interface, I just hold CTRL and go U, A, C, W, release CTRL, then ALT+TAB to Firefox and CTRL+V in the text box.

          Since Thunderbird is based on Firefox's runtime, things like CTRL+[scroll wheel] zoom the contents of the message body as expected. If some asshole thinks it's funny to send 7-point light grey text (every
          • Jody, thanks for the information.

            Only the 5th sentence is not completely serious:

            You think logically. You gather details. You see the big picture. You communicate clearly. I suggest that, in 2020, you run for President of the United States.
            • Sadly, I'm not stupid enough to be a politician. ;-) Thanks for the kind words.
              • It's okay if you don't want to be a leader in government. We need smart people like you to be leaders in every area of life.

                Now there are many situations in which someone who doesn't think carefully gets a lot of money to be elected from an organization that wants favors that are bad for most citizens and destructive to the organization of the country in general.

                It takes years for someone to teach herself how the government works, on any level. So, maybe 3 years until you teach yourself enough to be a
      • Will LookOut survive the WebExtensions shift? Only time will tell... though I feel it has a better chance of pulling through than the EWS plugin I use for dealing with Exchange calendars...
      • by jofas ( 1081977 )
        WTF? What is this, 2006? Evolution does all this and actually works with Exchange and O365 accounts.
        • Evolution is not available for Windows, the OS that the majority of people use. Feel free to prove otherwise; all I find is "defunct ports."
          • by tepples ( 727027 )

            Then run Evolution in GNU/Linux in Oracle VirtualBox in Windows.

            • That's a really ridiculous suggestion. Thunderbird is superior if no other reason than it works natively on every major desktop platform. I'm not running a VM to get my mail. I looked at Evolution, the interface is mostly a clone of Thunderbird so I see absolutely no point.
    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by jawtheshark ( 198669 ) *
      To me it does. I don't like webmail. I like to have a locally executed email client with locally cached email. Since I don't use Windows, and thus don't run Outlook (which is a joke of an email client any way, if you're not using Exchange), I have not much modern options any more. Thunderbird is basically the email client use when you prefer the open source solutions. Thunderbird seems to be the best choice, and the fact that it was a bit neglected by Mozilla had the added advantage that they didn't fu
      • by jofas ( 1081977 )
        Again, Evolution does everything Thunderbird did 10 years ago (better) and can handle Office 365 and Exchange accounts, including calendar sync. Thunderbird is dead dead dead. Trust me, I've tried very hard to make it work using linux in my mac/windows work, but it cannot pull its weight anymore.
        • I don’t need Exchange and Office 365 compatibly. Evolution, being part of Gnome is even worse than Mozilla. Those people remove useful functionality because they got up the wrong side of bed...
      • Alpine [wikipedia.org]

        I've been using this since it was pine. I can fetch several accounts to my local inbox, and if I need to check it remotely it's an SSH away.
        Simple and fast will never go out of style for me. You can keep your webmail and bulky email clients.

        • I used it when it still was Pine. I do need an email client for people like my mom...
          • by gosand ( 234100 )

            If your mom is anything like my mom.... good luck! Unfortunately, I have no solution for you there.
            My brother convinced my parents to get a Mac, because you know...it just works and is easy to use. :|
            problem1: he has very little understanding of computers, but thinks he's a genius
            problem2: my parents have less understanding, and do all of about 3 things on their computer. Yet they still have all kinds of issues because they don't understand the basics... "Firefox, foxfire - whatever... I just need to chec

            • Thunderbird works fine for my mom.
            • To be fair,they use Linux.. So, the updates are managed by the package manager. I told them to click to install them every time it asks. Should I see they cease to do that, I’m configure totally automatic updates. I can always get on their machines using ssh, any way.
    • by p51d007 ( 656414 )
      I use it at work, on my laptop. On the home computer, I just use the web browser version of email.
    • Anecdotal: Outlook crashes/hangs/just stops communicating with the internet on a somewhat regular basis, though I can't say it's a daily occurrence where I work. In a company of 30-50, it seems I need to fiddle with something on someone's computer once every few days. Also very aggressive about trying to use IPv6, even on a network that does not have it enabled, and takes ages to launch with large (multi-GB) PST files (though it is not as bad as it was many years ago). We had one fellow whose instance would
    • I ask because in my [limited] professional life, I know of exactly zero entities using this software.

      Only ones that would are small companies. Thunderbird is a reasonable client but it pretty much ignored the server side and calendaring features that make Outlook and other applications popular. This was pointed out to them ages ago and they never bothered to put in the resources to make it an Outlook fighter.

      Am I missing out on anything? Can someone more knowledgeable advise me of why I should use Thunderbird over Outlook or GMail?

      Outlook is easy because it isn't of much use if you aren't running Windows. Thunderbird is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. If you want something consistent between operating systems Outlook

    • I use Thunderbird, and have done so for years. It is fast, thorough, and just works without fiddling. I use it with the Lightning plugin and Google Provider extension so it operates with my Google calendar seamlessly. It connects using IMAP to my gmail, old Comcast, Yahoo, and Outlook email accounts and makes using them simple and easy. And I can use a freeware tool like MozBackup to move it to a new machine with no hassles, even a different operating system (like Linux).
    • Yes, it still matters. I have used it for the last 8 years, it has been stable and has great search capabilities. I have my gmail and various free Microsoft email accounts integrated into it. One view to see all the email accounts. Most of the accounts other than the gmail account are tied to my website or organizational affiliations that I don't want to have my gmail account, then there are the throw away email accounts that I never check but use when a website "must" have an email address. My wife j
    • by MrMr ( 219533 )
      I actually use it to read gmail. I prefer the user interface, but apparently they are going to fix that for me next year.
    • > I know of exactly zero entities using this software.

      I've used it for many years.

      > Am I missing out on anything? Can someone more knowledgeable advise me of why I should use Thunderbird over Outlook or GMail?

      It should not matter. If you are serving your mail from a functioning imap service, you should be able to have multiple views onto that service from different programs on multiple machines. You don't need the gmail web mail client to view email hosted by Google. You can use either or both of a c

    • by gnunick ( 701343 )

      I ask because in my [limited] professional life, I know of exactly zero entities using this software.

      Am I missing out on anything? Can someone more knowledgeable advise me of why I should use Thunderbird over Outlook or GMail?

      In addition to using it to access my principal email ISP via IMAP/SMTP, I use Thunderbird to manage my gmail accounts (likewise, via IMAP/SMTP). I use the Lightning add-on to manage the Google calendars people add me to. Just because other people choose to use gmail doesn't mean I should be forced to. At least, that's how I feel about it.

      In the past I've used Thunderbird (again with the help of Lightning, plus another add-on) to manage email and calendars on corporate Exchange servers. Don't even get me sta

  • I still use it. I was initially disappointed that Mozilla wasn't doing anything with Thunderbird. However, at least that meant a stop to ruining it like they did with Firefox. If they had kept going, by now Thunderbird would probably be a webmail app that looks like it is running in Chrome.
  • Mozilla said Thunderbird, which is also serves as a news, RSS and chat client, the latest Thunderbird 52.5.2 version released last week fixes the vulnerabilities.

    Editors, please at least read what you allow to be posted.

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