Over the weekend, it was discovered that the json_pure gem is subject to a DoS attack when parsing specially formed JSON objects. This vulnerability does not affect the json gem, which uses a C extension, or ActiveSupport::JSON, which is used in Rails.
By default, Merb uses the json gem, which is not vulnerable, but falls back to json_pure if json is not available. As a result, if you have json_pure but not json on your system, you may be vulnerable. Additionally, Ruby 1.9.1 (but not Ruby 1.9 trunk) ships with json_pure, which remains vulnerable.
The easiest way to immunize yourself from this problem, no matter what Ruby version you are on, is to upgrade to the latest version of json_pure, which resolves the vulnerability. Additionally, Merb 1.0.12 has been released, which monkey-patches json_pure to remove the vulnerability, but prints a warning encouraging you to upgrade to the latest. Merb 1.0.12 only adds this patch on top of 1.0.11, so it should be perfectly safe to upgrade.