Mozilla to add cryptomining and fingerprint blocking to Firefox browser to help prevent cryptojacking


Mozilla, the non-profit open-source software foundation, has implemented a series of bug updates that hints at cryptomining blocking feature coming in the upcoming months. This new feature will give Firefox users the ability to block cryptomining software, protecting them from possible crypto-jacking attacks, that may using their CPU resources to mine cryptocurrencies without their consent.

According to BleepingComputer, it is not known when this feature will go live in Firefox, but recent source code revisions show that the Firefox 66.0a1 build has implemented some portions of the feature. Firefox 66 is the next update release of the Firefox browser.

Crypto-jacking is a major issue for Internet users. In September 2018, it was reported that major Indian government websites were hacked to mine cryptocurrencies. An Iranian cybersecurity report published in October 2018, lists Brazil, India, and Indonesia as the top three targeted countries for crypto-jacking attacks.

The initial idea

In May 2018 it was revealed that Mozilla was planning on blocking cryptominers and fingerprintersstarting in Firefox 63. Firefox 63 has come and gone and now Firefox 65 is here, but unfortunately those features were never fully added to the browser.

A series of Mozilla bug updates, though, tells us that these features will soon be landing as part of Firefox’s Content Blocking feature in the near future. In one of the bug posts, Mozilla has uploaded a mockup of how cryptomining and fingerprinting detection and blocking will be added to Firefox’s Content Blocking privacy feature.

With the initial release, Mozilla will add the ability to block cryptomining and fingerprinting to the Custom settings of the Content Blocking feature as shown below.

Content Blocking Settings
Content Blocking Settings

When these features are enabled, the Cryptominers and Fingerprinters status will be displayed in the Control Center of a site you are visiting.

Site Control Center Mockup
Site Control Center Mockup

Clicking on either Cryptominers or Fingerprinters in the site’s control center will bring you to their associated subpanels. From here you will be able to see all of the sites currently being detected and whitelist any that you wish.

Content Blocking Subpanels
Content Blocking Subpanels

Over time and as these features are further tested, Mozilla plans on moving the cryptomining and fingerprinting options out of Custom and into Strict and finally Standard. Once in standard, they will be automatically blocked for all users of Firefox.

These are important features to be added to a browser as in-browsing mining not only steals your energy and increases your bills, but could also damage your CPU by prolonged utilization.

We will be keeping an eye on these tickets and will post an update when this feature is more fully fleshed out.

 


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Samuel Tan

Samuel Wan has been an analyst and cryptocurrency evangelist for the last few years. Previously he worked as a consultant for a Big 4 consulting firm and is passionate about how blockchain will make an impact in the world. You can contact Sam at s@cryptomenow.com

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