Mozilla removes recommended security extension from blog post after criticism

Aug

16

2018

Firefox removed the Web Security security extension from its own blog post after recommending it there. After the publication there was criticism, because the extension would keep track of the browsing history of users. The developer of the extension fights this.

The relevant Mozilla blog post was about improving the privacy protection of the Firefox browser by installing different extensions. The organization mentions well-known names such as Privacy Badger, Disconnect and Decentraleyes, but the mention of Web Security , an add-on with approximately 222,000 users, has since disappeared. This happened according to Bleeping Computer after Raymond Hill, the developer of the extension uBlock Origin, indicated on Reddit that Web Security makes a POST request to a remote server each time a user visits a website.

Subsequently similar messages appeared on the blog of the German pentester Mike Kuketz, in which he stated that the extension does transmit sensitive data about the surfing behavior of users via an unencrypted connection. For example, the extension would forward a visited page along with the previously visited page. The data itself would have been encrypted.

The developer of the extension, Creative Software Solutions, informs Bleeping Computer in a reaction that it checks the sites a user visits using a blacklist, so that ‘communication between the client and the server is unavoidable’. The company would keep the data collection as minimal as possible and not record it in logs. It indicates that its servers are in Germany and that the protection of the AVG is applicable. In a response to The Register , the developer also says to work on a new version of the extension to prove that everything works properly.

The company also claims that Mozilla has verified its extension. A Mozilla spokesperson informs the site that it is investigating the ‘objections from the community’. The reference to the extension would have been removed as part of this investigation. Similar cases occurred earlier with extensions such as Web of Trust and Stylish .

web security description
Description of the extension, via Mozilla add-ons

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