Mozilla announces ban on Firefox extensions from 10 June with obfuscated code

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Mozilla also plans to be more aggressive towards taking down extensions that break its policies, focus on security issues and regain the trust of customers

As Mozilla continues to try to make it safer than ever to use Firefox, the organization has updated its Add-on Policy so that any updates that include obfuscated code are explicitly banned.

Once most popular Mozilla is slowly loosing its share in internet browser market since the chrome Browser have moving way ahead of Mozilla. Mozilla is trying to sustain it browser and trying to focus on safe browsing. This was the reason they have taken this steps.

The ban will enter into effect on June 10, at which point Mozilla plans to remove all Firefox extensions that don’t meet these criteria and will be removed any future extension submissions that fail to provide full access to their source code.

When it took its decision, Google engineers said that around 70 percent of all the malicious Chrome extensions the company was actively blocking had used code obfuscation techniques.

For non-technical users, obfuscation is the deliberate act of writing source code that is difficult for humans to understand. Common obfuscation techniques include naming variables in a meaningless or deceptive way, making code look like comments and vice-versa, repeating code blocks, and others.

“We will no longer accept extensions that contain obfuscated code,” said Caitlin Neiman, Add-ons Community Manager at Mozilla.

We will continue to allow minified, concatenated, or otherwise machine-generated code as long as the source code is included. If your extension is using obfuscated code, it is essential to submit a new version by June 10th that removes it to avoid having it rejected or blocked.

MOZILLA GETTING TOUGHER ON SHADY EXTENSIONS

Besides blocking obfuscated code, Neiman also announced that starting with June 10, Mozilla’s team will also be more aggressive in blocking and disabling Firefox add-ons in users’ browsers that are found to be violating one of the company’s policies.

“We will continue to block extensions for intentionally violating our policies, critical security vulnerabilities, and will also act on extensions compromising user privacy or circumventing user consent or control,” Nieman said.

“We will be casting a wider net, and will err on the side of user security when determining whether or not to block,” she added.

These are the main changes Mozilla announced

  • We will no longer accept extensions that contain obfuscated code. We will continue to allow minified, concatenated, or otherwise machine-generated code as long as the source code is included. If your extension is using obfuscated code, it is essential to submit a new version by June 10th that removes it to avoid having it rejected or blocked.
  • We will be blocking extensions more proactively if they are found to be in violation of our policies. We will be casting a wider net, and will err on the side of user security when determining whether or not to block.
  • We will continue to block extensions for intentionally violating our policies, critical security vulnerabilities, and will also act on extensions compromising user privacy or circumventing user consent or control.

But 10 June was the affect date but many users on social media started complaining that some of the extension stopped working since today itself.

4 comments

  1. This is very very conceited attitude towards your customers Firefox. You take the risk of loosing your customers by trying to be their “teacher”. Please read a very old book of Aldous Huxley called “Brave New World” . Amazing Firefox thinks they can fix the world their way. Soma paradise?

    1. Mozilla has every right to protect its users from malicious addons that are downloaded via Mozilla’s own addon service. It’s on Mozilla’s head if they let users download malicious addons through their service. You’re free to go install all the garbage addons from outside sources that you want, though.

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