Firefox to Block Crypto Mining Malware Scripts

Firefox to block crypto mining malware scripts in its future releases, according to the blog post by Mozilla Foundation. The key goal is to prevent third-party scripts from hampering the user experience. 

3 September, AtoZ Markets One of the most popular web browsers, Firefox, is reportedly planning to automatically block cryptocurrency mining malware scripts. The initiative comes as part of a wider plan aimed at performance improvement. 

Firefox to Block Crypto Mining Malware Scripts

The Mozilla Foundation, the company behind Firefox, has stated that it plans to block trackers and other “harmful practices” in its upcoming releases. Some of such features are already available in its Firefox Nightly beta version. For instance, the anti-tracking function is one of them.

The key goal is to prevent third-party scripts from hampering the user experience. According to the Mozilla vice president of product Nick Nguyen, these scripts are usually embedded within websites. They can take control of a user’s computing power without their consent. 

Following on this, scripts that hijack an individual’s unused computer power to mine cryptocurrencies are aslo considered within this category. Mr. Nguyen has added:

“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. Other sites have deployed crypto mining 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.”

Opera Miner Protection

The Firefox Nightly version will be used to test the functionality of these new features. In case tests will go successful, the company might present them to users in the Firefox 63 release.

It appears that Mozilla has decided to join a number of other browser developing companies, such as Google and Opera in their efforts to protect users from crypto miners. The latter two have already set up initiatives to protect their users from malicious miners. These miners can slow down the user experience and damage users’ computers. 

This January, Opera has informed the public about its intention to introduce miner protection to the smartphone version of its browser. This function would also be active by default. In fact, this company has already offered protection against crypto miners on its desktop version of web browser. 

Earlier in December 2017, the company announced it has included anti-crypto mining protection in their integrated ad – blocker for the desktop.

Google Crypto Mining App Ban

Google has also moved to ban all cryptocurrency mining applications from its Play Store. However, it did not make any official statements concerning the automatic block of scripts embedded within websites. 

As per the report from one of the industry media outlets, Google has announced that it plans to change its stance in the recent policy update for Google Play developers. The policy reads, according to online reports:

“We don’t allow apps that mine cryptocurrency on devices. We permit apps that remotely manage the mining of cryptocurrency.”

The limitation emerges at a time when Apple and Google are attempting to restrict cryptocurrency mining-related activities on their platforms. 

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