Mozilla is now making ways to protect its browser’s users from programs that install Firefox add-ons without their permission, citing a number of reasons, which include security concerns and the developer’s desire to make users have the ultimate control over installed add-ons.
These software-bundled add-ons have been a big problem for the browser’s users, who most of the time have been surprised to find extensions show up without their consent. One example is an add-on that was included with Skype that caused lots of browser crashes. Mozilla then added it to its list of banned extensions in January. In 2009, Microsoft silently slipped an add-on into Firefox that left it open to attacks.
“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,” said Justin Scott, Mozilla’s product manager for add-ons.
After a user upgrades to the new Firefox 8, a screen that details user-installed add-ons and the third-party add-ons, which will be automatically turned off and will require the user to turn them back on. This move is created to help those who are unaware of invasive third-party add-ons. Add-ons that are not compatible with Firefox 8 will be turned off by default.
While Firefox users will have to wait until September 27 to start using Firefox 8, its upcoming version, Firefox 6, has been completed and and released released a day earlier. Firefox 7 will be released weeks later and is expected to use 20 to 50 percent less memory than the previous versions.