It turns out that Mozilla is planning to tighten up its security restrictions regarding add-ons for the Firefox browser. In a blog post the company said that the decision to block unsigned add-ons was made to reduce a user’s chances of installing a dodgy add-on that can do dodgy things to the browser.
Google Chrome went the extra mile and halted third-party add-ons altogether but Mozilla is going to stick to its lighter approach for now. Firefox add ons will not be required to appear in the official add-ons portal but they will be required to be digitally signed by Mozilla before an installation can take place.
The criteria test will be automated, which can come with its fair share of problems as these systems are never perfect. Those that fail the test can submit add ons for manual inspection by Mozilla.
Those working on private add-ons for corporations or businesses will be provided with a work around, although details of this have yet to be announced.
The blog post from Mozilla explained that: “We’re responsible for our add-ons ecosystem and we can’t sit idle as our users suffer due to bad add-ons. An easy solution would be to force all developers to distribute their extensions through AMO, like Google does for Chrome extensions. However, we believe that forcing all installs through our distribution channel is an unnecessary constraint.”
The new policy will undergo a transition phase and will roll out during Q2 of this year.
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KitGuru Says: At least now it will be easier to avoid dodgy add-ons capable of changing your home page or search provider. Having better security is always for the best.