Mozilla Signs Firefox Add-Ons

Jun 03, 2015

New program will dial up security for the Firefox browser.

Mozilla developer Jorge Villalobos has announced that Mozilla is ready to implement its new program of digitally signing add-ons extensions for the Firefox browser. The plan was originally announced back in February. Firefox developers have long taken pride in the extensive and powerful collection of add-on applications that users can easily add to their browser configuration. However, the Firefox team has become alarmed at the number of add-ons that are insecure – or sometimes even malware. According to the original announcement, “Extensions that change the homepage and search settings without user consent have become very common, just like extensions that inject advertisements into web pages or even inject malicious scripts into social media sites.”

To combat this misuse of the add-on ecosystem, Mozilla developed a new set of guidelines for add-on developers and implemented the signing process as a means for assuring users that the add-on has been properly vetted.

Mozilla will take a week to create signed versions of existing add-ons. For a transition period of two release cycles (approximately 12 weeks), non-signed add-ons will only trigger a warning in Firefox. After the transition period, release and beta versions of Firefox will not install unsigned extensions.

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