Firefox will soon alert users about recently breached sites
Mozilla's Firefox web browser will soon notify users when they visit websites that were breached recently.
The new functionality extends the capabilities of Firefox Monitor, a new service by Mozilla that anyone may use to check whether an email address is found in leaked password databases.
Since the launch of Firefox Monitor, a free service that notifies you when your email has been part of a breach, hundreds of thousands of people have signed up.
The organization announced the new functionality of Firefox Monitor and an extension to other locales today.
Firefox Monitor becomes available in 26 different languages in the near future including German, French, Spanish, Turkish, Chinese, Canadian English, Russian, Japanese and Portuguese.
Firefox Monitor Notifications is a built-in Firefox desktop feature that notifies Firefox users when they visit breached websites. Mozilla revealed in 2017 that it had plans to integrate breach notification functionality in the browser.
Firefox does not check whether users have an account on the site. The notification informs the user about the breach and displays options to dismiss the notification or check Firefox Monitor.
The "check" option links to the Firefox Monitor site; users may enter an email address on the site to check it against the leak database.
Firefox users who don't want to receive these notifications in the future can disable them by selecting "never show Firefox Monitor alerts" with a click on the dropdown icon.
The methodology that is used to check and notify users is straightforward:
- Firefox checks the visited site against a database and notifies the user of the breach if it happened in the last 12 months.
- For consecutive breaches, Firefox notifies users only if the breach happened within the last 2 months.
Firefox won't overburden users with notifications if you take these parameters into account.
Mozilla has not revealed when these changes will become available and how it is rolled out to users. The most likely option is the rollout as a system add-on to supported versions of the web browser.
One option that Firefox users have to check whether Firefox Monitor is installed or not is to check whether the preference extensions.fxmonitor.enabled exists on about:config; a check of about:support may work as well as Firefox Monitor should be listed under Firefox Features on the page if it is distributed as a system add-on.
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