Feeds

Mozilla to auto-block unwanted Firefox add-ons

Revenge of the force-fed browser users

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Mozilla's Firefox will soon start blocking browser add-ons installed by other programs until users explicitly approve them, a move that's designed to give people more control over their web surfing experience.

The feature will debut next week in the Firefox Aurora prebeta, Justin Scott a Mozilla product manager for add-ons said Thursday. It will be activated each time the browser is started. If it detects a new add-on that's been installed by another program, it will disable it and present the user with a dialog box. The add-on will be unblocked only after the user approves the add-on.

"Third-party applications frequently install bundled add-ons into Firefox as part of their own installation process," Scott wrote. "While some of these applications seek the user’s permission beforehand, others install add-ons into Firefox without checking to make sure the user actually wants them."

The new Firefox version will also present users with a one-time dialog box the first time it's run that prompts the user to approve previously installed add-ons. By default, all those installed by another application will be disabled unless approved by the user.

The move comes after Mozilla has blocked several individual add-ons deemed to degrade browser stability and user security. In January, it was a Skype toolbar add-on that Mozilla said caused 40,000 crashes in one week and last year it was a Java plugin with security flaw.

Many Firefox users have also protested add-ons Microsoft silently installed in the open-source browser on at least two separate occasions.

"Unfortunately, the extent of unwanted add-ons installed through these methods has caused us to take action, but we're confident that users who truly want such add-ons to be installed with opt in when Firefox prompts them," Scott wrote. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for
It's on by default – didn't you read the small print?
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
Kill off SSL 3.0 NOW: HTTPS savaged by vicious POODLE
Pull it out ASAP, it is SWISS CHEESE
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
China is ALREADY spying on Apple iCloud users, watchdog claims
Attack harvests users' info at iPhone 6 launch
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.