Mozilla’s New Security Feature

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Mozilla is working on a new feature for the Firefox web browser that helps users generate random secure passwords when they create new accounts on the Internet. The feature is part of a concentrated effort to make the password manager of the Firefox browser more useful. Mozilla launched a first batch of improvements in Firefox 67 which it released on May 21, 2019 to the public. Among the new features were options to save passwords in private browsing mode and support for an authentication API. 

Expert Comments:   

Jake Moore, Cybersecurity Specialist at ESET: 

“Password managers are still massively underused and millions fail to utilise their full potential every day when accessing all of their accounts online. This new feature from Firefox may hopefully act as a tipping point to show all those doubters how easy they are to implement and once they are away they will be far better protected.  

Generating passwords can sometimes be the last piece in the puzzle for password managers too. Many just place their original passwords into the manager and forget to change them and make them unique. To have them generated not only makes it more simple to use, it will make them safer being a random string of alphanumeric characters that are very unlikely to have been used before” 

Brian Higgins, Security Specialist at Comparitech.com: 

“As zero-day vulnerabilities go this one is pretty huge simply due to the number of Mozilla users globally. There is no user culpability here but, as is so often the case, the platform itself has rendered its users vulnerable to substantially impactful attack. The Mozilla community are the latest victims of the global Tech ‘first to market’ business model so beloved of all of the major platform providers. The ‘release it first and patch it later’ approach is manifestly unfair on the end user community but, unfortunately, has been allowed to perpetuate for so long that it has become the norm. Whilst they currently represent a huge threat surface for malicious actors, the only thing Mozilla users can usefully do right now is follow the advice from Mozilla and CISA. Patch, Update and hope they’ve done it in time. After that they might consider looking around for a provider with a more ethical business model.”   

Javvad Malik, Security Awareness Advocate at KnowBe4:   

Javvad Malik“The details on this vulnerability are not fully available, but the most concerning thing is that attackers can run code without user interaction beyond normal browsing. A reminder that users should be wary of which sites they visit.   

Beyond that, there is little that can be done beyond installing the latest patch and ensuring all machines are up to date.” 


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