Firefox To Block Cryptojacking And Tracking Malware In Upcoming Browser Update
Firefox is testing new features set to block crypto mining malware, among another unchecked tracking practices, the web browser announced on August 30.
Future versions of Firefox will, by default, have features that will protect internet users by blocking tracking sites and other harmful practices. The browser will also introduce a set of controls aimed at giving users the option to choose what it is they would like to share with any given site.
The move to block crypto-jacking malware is part of a campaign that seeks to improve user experience as well as enhancing their security. Practices such as crypto mining scripts take over unsuspecting users’ computers and silently mine cryptocurrencies.
Mozilla, the company that develops the Firefox browser, has said that it will over the next few months introduce a series of anti-tracking measures. It hopes these approaches will improve the browser’s page loading, remove cross-site tracking and mitigate harmful practices.
Tracking sites, which have literally taken over the internet, are the main culprits behind a slow web experience suffered by many users. Firefox cites a recent study that reported on the effect of these tracking sites.
Ghostery, a browser extension, conducted a study that revealed that average websites spent 55.4 percent of the time needed to open a page loading unwanted third-party trackers.
To help reduce this time wastage, Firefox has added the Firefox Nightly feature that blocks trackers determined to be slowing down page loads. After a shield study scheduled for September, Firefox 63 will by default block all slow-loading trackers.
The browser will also strip cookies and block third-party tracking sites from accessing a user’s storage to increase the privacy of its users.
In 2004, the browser introduced pop-up ad blocking, a move that led to improved user experience when ad companies began to show interest in how they treated consumers.
In 2016, the company made a raft of changes that included asking users to be directly involved in improving online privacy. Mozilla informed the public that it would block sites that employed weak encryption; even such sites’ connections used the HTTPS secure servers.
In June this year, Firefox announced the release of Firefox Monitor, a tool designed to improve account security for any web user. The firm partnered with Troy Hunt’s HaveIBeenPwned.com (HIBP) to create the tool.
Through the partnership, users are able to check whether their account or email, is included in a database of known breached accounts. Firefox can then recommend what the user can do if they (user) determine that indeed someone has breached their account or email.
The increasing cases of crypto-related malware have led other browser companies to introduce measures aimed at protecting users. Top of the concern list is the potential damage from malicious crypto-miners, which at worst, can lead to serious damage to a user’s computer.
Opera browser, for instance, introduced an ad-blocker feature in their desktop browser in December 2017. The integrated feature also included anti-crypto mining functionalities, which the company said would be added to its smartphone browser.
Google, on the other hand, banned all crypto mining apps from Google Play Store. It is yet, however, to make any announcements concerning blocking web embedded scripts.
Disclaimer: This is not investment advice. Cryptocurrencies are highly volatile assets and are very risky investments. Do your own research and/or consult an investment professional before investing. Never invest more than you can afford to lose. Never borrow money to invest in cryptocurrencies.