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November 24, 2017

Firefox to flag breached sites to boost user security

The plan is to provide notifications to users of recent and past data breaches, increasing transparency for heightened security.

By Tom Ball

Developments have been made that will equip the Firefox browser with the ability to alert users to breached sites that pose a threat.

The initiative was unveiled by Nihanth Subramanya, a Mozilla developer, who said that the popular search engine provider has been working alongside haveibeenpwned.com to gain the necessary data insight.

Subramanya said that a notification system would be used to raise the alarm, making the user aware that a recent data breach had impacted the site. The process does not stop here, as it is also designed to provide further information on the breach.

Information provided is set to not only outline details of recent breaches, but also details of other past breaches, providing users with transparency for the purpose of making a decision of whether to proceed or not.

While some well-formulated plans appear to be in place, the Mozilla developer made it clear that a state of completion has no yet been reached on any level.

Mozilla has previously demonstrated a heightened interest in providing robust security, this was made apparent in an initiative from 2016 in which a new iOS Firefox browser was released with enhanced security features. Principally, this iOS browser from last year focussed on repelling trackers.

The web browser space is crowded, but currently Google Chrome is winning the popular vote. This security foray from Mozilla could be a play to regain ground in the market, looking to reassure users when surfing the web.

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It is prime time for such a service to enter the market, with 2017 going down in the records pock marked with security incidents. The data breach bombardment has been dense and consistent throughout the year, with major instances including WannaCry and NotPetya standing out.

Like GDPR, this Mozilla initiative will add to the impetus on organisations to remain secure, so as to avoid gaining the indelible black mark of a data breach.

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