Mozilla, maker of the Firefox web browser, has suspended its file sharing service Firefox Send temporarily. Users who open the Firefox Send website are greeted with a message stating that the service is temporarily unavailable while Mozilla is working on improving the product.
The organization launched Firefox Send as an experiment back in 2017 and unveiled it officially in 2019. Firefox Send is a web service that works with any modern web browser, not just Firefox. It can be used to store files in the cloud temporarily to share them with others. Some of the core features of Firefox Send include password protection, auto-expiration of hosted files, file sizes of up to 2.5 Gigabytes per upload, and built-in encryption for all uploaded files.
Mozilla does not reveal on the Firefox Send homepage why the service has been taken down temporarily. According to a ZDNet report, it has been taken down because of its popularity as a malware distribution hub and a lack of options to report malicious content on the site.
Firefox Send has become a popular option for malware distributions to store payloads for cybercrime operations such as ransomware attacks or spyware on the service.
Firefox Send offers several advantages over traditional hosting options besides the ability to host files on third-party infrastructure. The automatic encryption of data, support for password protection, and the auto-expiration of uploads improve the ability of malware to evade detection. Firefox Send URLs are often also trusted in organizations according to security researcher Colin Hardy.
Mozilla told ZDNet that it has taken down Firefox Send entirely to address the issues. One of the features that Mozilla is going to implement is a report option that allows users to report malicious or problematic content. Users, security researchers, and organizations, may use it to report hosted content to Mozilla to get it analyzed and/or taken down immediately.
Firefox Send will require a Firefox Account for file uploads when it launches again to combat abuse further. The requirement will not sit well with all users of the service and Mozilla could have opted for limiting anonymous file uploads instead to reduce abuse of the platform.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.