Feeds

Mozilla to auto-block unwanted Firefox add-ons

Revenge of the force-fed browser users

The essential guide to IT transformation

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. ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Ice cream headache as black hat hacks sack Dairy Queen
I scream, you scream, we all scream 'DATA BREACH'!
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Researchers camouflage haxxor traps with fake application traffic
Honeypots sweetened to resemble actual workloads, complete with 'secure' logins
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
New Snowden leak: How NSA shared 850-billion-plus metadata records
'Federated search' spaffed info all over Five Eyes chums
Three quarters of South Korea popped in online gaming raids
Records used to plunder game items, sold off to low lifes
Oz fed police in PDF redaction SNAFU
Give us your metadata, we'll publish your data
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?