Not everyone’s a fan of crypto. We knew that already, but it appears Firefox is the latest one to push it away.
Mozilla Is Fighting Crypto-Jacking
Mozilla has announced that all future editions of Firefox will be automatically enhanced with software designed to block crypto-jacking applications such as Coinhive. To put things fairly, it’s not that Firefox isn’t a fan of crypto. Rather, it isn’t a fan of how it can potentially victimize people.
Crypto-jacking is a relatively new and popular method of thievery among hackers. Individuals visit certain websites or pages that have been infected with malware. From there, the malware is downloaded onto the individuals’ computers, who ultimately don’t know they’ve been affected.
From there, the malware begins to mine cryptocurrency through the infected computers. Usually, the cryptocurrency being mined is Monero, an anonymous currency popular amongst black market entrants. While the hackers garner hundreds to thousands of dollars in new digital coins, the affected individuals are usually stuck with high electric bills at the end of each month.
Aside from crypto mining applications, Firefox says it will also include a feature designed to block “fingerprinting” scripts. These contain computer configuration snapshots that allow hackers and ad agencies to potentially track users’ browsing history and usage whether cookies have been cleared or not.
Mozilla explained in an announcement:
In collaboration with Disconnect, we have compiled lists of domains that serve fingerprinting and crypto mining scripts. Now, in the latest Firefox Nightly and Beta versions, we give users the option to block both kinds of scripts as part of our content blocking suite of protections.
The catch is that both features – the fingerprinting and the crypto mining blocks – are disabled by default at press time, so it will be owners’ responsibility to go into their computers or browsers and activate them on their own. They can do so by going into the “Privacy & Security” tab in their browsers and selecting both items from there.
Mozilla later stated that all future versions of Firefox will come with both features automatically enabled for users’ protection:
Once enabled, Firefox will block any scripts that have been identified by Disconnect to participate in crypto mining or fingerprinting.
Keeping People Safer
One thing people should expect in the future is for certain sites to be blocked or blacklisted should they try to visit them using their Firefox browsers. If one comes across a blacklisted site, it’s important to report it to Firefox immediately. Mozilla will also be releasing a new list of blocked websites for customers to view in the coming months.
Search engines have taken great steps to prevent crypto-jacking efforts on individuals’ computers. Recently, Google was the latest company to bar all cryptocurrency mining extensions from its Chrome Web Store.