Tech 3 September 2018Dennis Wafula
Future Firefox browsers to block cryptojacking malware
Mozilla, the company behind popular web browser Firefox, is gearing up to automatically block malware scripts, including those that “silently mine cryptocurrencies” in future versions of Firefox.
Last week, Mozilla announced that it will soon implement an initiative to “protect users by blocking tracking while also offering a clear set of controls to give our users more choice over what information they share with sites.” The company cited Ghostery study, which noted that 55.4% of the total time required to load an average website is usually spent loading third-party trackers. For the users with slower networks, the loading time is even worse.
“Deceptive practices that invisibly collect identifiable user information or degrade user experience are becoming more common. For example, some trackers fingerprint users — a technique that allows them to invisibly identify users by their device properties, and which users are unable to control,” according to Mozilla. “Other sites have deployed cryptomining scripts that silently mine cryptocurrencies on the user’s device. Practices like these make the web a more hostile place to be. Future versions of Firefox will block these practices by default.”
This is the reason why Mozilla’s future web browsers will be equipped with a new feature—found in Firefox Nightly—which will block trackers that slow down page loads. This feature will be tested using a shield study starting September, and if the approach performs well, Mozilla plans to start blocking slow-loading trackers by default in Firefox 63.
The company has already stripped cookies and blocked storage access from third-party tracking content, a feature that Firefox Nightly users can already test out. If all goes according to plan, Mozilla said it will bring the protective feature to all Firefox 65 users.
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Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins.
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