Mozilla will pull support for the FTP protocol in a future version of its Firefox web browser according to one of its software engineers, Michal Novotny, who spoke to ZDNet. Once support is pulled for the protocol, users will no longer be able to download files via FTP nor view the content of FTP links and files inside Firefox.
Explaining the reasons behind the decision, Novotny said:
“We're doing this for security reasons. FTP is an insecure protocol and there are no reasons to prefer it over HTTPS for downloading resources. Also, a part of the FTP code is very old, unsafe and hard to maintain and we found a lot of security bugs in it in the past.”
According to the engineer, Firefox 77, which is currently slated for June (although it may be later with the coronavirus outbreak), will be the first release to drop support for the FTP protocol. For people who really insist on using the potentially buggy implementation, the option will still be able to be switched on in the about:config page by toggling the appropriate setting.
Obviously, it won’t be safe to leave the unmaintained feature in Firefox for long so the firm plans to remove all the associated code for FTP support by the start of 2021. According to Novotny, there will be no way to re-enable FTP support after this time. Firefox will join Chrome in dropping support for FTP.