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Mozilla Bans Firefox Extensions Containing Obfuscated Code

Mozilla this week announced plans to update its Add-on Policy for Firefox, to ban extensions that contain obfuscated code.

The change, which will enter into effect on June 10, 2019, is expected to allow the Internet organization to respond faster to reports of malicious extensions. 

“We will no longer accept extensions that contain obfuscated code. We will continue to allow minified, concatenated, or otherwise machine-generated code as long as the source code is included,” Mozilla’s Caitlin Neiman reveals. 

Developers with extensions that are using obfuscated code are urged to update their applications to remove it and submit a new version by June 10 to avoid having them rejected or blocked.

Additionally, Mozilla plans on making its blocking (blocklisting) process clearer, for a better understanding of why extensions or other third-party software that has already been installed by Firefox users has been disabled. 

Thus, the organization explains that it aims at blocking extensions more proactively when discovering that they are in violation of its policies. 

“We will be casting a wider net, and will err on the side of user security when determining whether or not to block,” Neiman explains. 

Extensions that intentionally violate the organization’s policies will continue to be blocked as well, the same as those that contain critical security vulnerabilities. Moreover, Mozilla also plans on acting on extensions compromising user privacy or circumventing user consent or control.

The organization has already published policy and blocking process documents for developers to access to ensure their extensions abide by them to avoid any disruption. It also created a forum thread for those developers who have questions about these updated policies or would like to provide feedback.

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