Firefox Web Browser To Block Crypto Mining Scripts In Upcoming Updates

Announcements, News | September 3, 2018 By:

The Mozilla Foundation, the not-for-profit organization behind the popular Firefox web browser, is planning to add a default blocker for crypto mining malware in future versions of its web browser.

In its official announcement, Nick Nguyen, Mozilla vice president of product, announced that in the coming months, Firefox will — by default — protect users by blocking tracking while also offering a clear set of controls to give users more choice over what information they share with sites. He said the goal is to prevent third-party scripts from hampering the user experience.

“Deceptive practices that invisibly collect identifiable user information or degrade user experience are becoming more common,” Nguyen said. “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 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.”

Nguyen said that some of the new features are already available in its Firefox Nightly version and its success is expected to be consolidated in Firefox 65 version.

“We’ve already made this available for our Firefox Nightly users to try out, and will be running a shield study to test the experience with some of our beta users in September,” Nguyen said. “We aim to bring this protection to all users in Firefox 65, and will continue to refine our approach to provide the strongest possible protection while preserving a smooth user experience.”

Firefox is not the first major browser to implement mining script protections for desktop products. In December 2017, Opera browser included anti-crypto mining in their integrated ad-blocker for desktop. In January, the company added these same protections for its mobile browsers as well.