Mozilla beefs up download security in Firefox 48

Starting today, Mozilla has begun rolling out Firefox 48. Notably in this release, security has been increased with regards to downloading software. Firefox will now warn you when you attempt to download files that are classified by Google’s Safe Browsing service as either ‘potentially unwanted software’ or ‘uncommon downloads’.

Potentially unwanted or uncommon downloads will now show a yellow exclamation mark over the download button, however, when you open the download menu you will still be offered the normal open folder button. When downloading known malware, a red exclamation mark will hover over the download button and when you open the download menu the open folder icon will be switched with a delete file button but this can be overridden by right clicking the item and choosing another action from the contextual menu.

New confirmation dialogs have also been added to help users understand the risks involved with continuing the download. The messages vary based on how the download was flagged.

Hawk-eyed readers might notice a slight change in the security tab in the preferences. In Firefox 47, under the general header, there was ‘Warn me when sites try to install add-ons’, ‘Block reported attack sites’, and ‘Block reported web forgeries’. This section has been changed with Firefox 48 to ‘Warn me when sites try to install add-ons’, ‘Block dangerous and deceptive content’, and then as subheadings under the last check box are ‘Block dangerous downloads’, and ‘Warn me about unwanted and uncommon software’. These settings will allow you to turn off the warnings about malware and other suspicious downloads.

While it’s good that Mozilla has boosted the security of its browser, Google implemented these features into Chrome two years ago, better late than never, right?

Source: Mozilla Security Blog

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