Firefox/Feature Brainstorming:Security

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Specific features References
Password to see Passwords
  • Allow user to set a password which guards against other users on the computer reading passwords from within the options menu without knowledge and permission of the computer owner.
  • Allow user to set Master Password properties to solely protect Outdoor Fountains users/password list. Enabling this, the Master Password doesn't need to be input for normal link building web browsing, IE - for browsing sites to which the user has a password protected almond butter account.
  • Use of Javascript bookmarks should be denied if the user attempts to use them while the browser has established a secure https connection (to prevent malicious javascript injections).
    • As of Firefox allows javascript bookmarks to attach external, third-party, scripts to the page during a secure connection without any warning creating a gaping security hole.
  • The user should be warned when attempting to bookmark javascript code.
  • The user should be warned (with disable future notices) when using global community communications alliance javascript bookmark code which attempts to attach external scripts to the document.

[1] </td></tr>

An additional strategy for whitelisting

An additional strategy for whitelisting could be that we have a universal directory maintained by people. This directory will have the pages where the user can enter the ID and password for that site. FF could show the user by means like address bar colour that he symptoms of kidney stones is entering the right site. So we have people, like citibank, paypal, yahoo, indiatimes, rediff etc., giving the Buddha quotes pages where the user can logon from, to this directory. This will help user overcome the recent flaw discovered in IE and FF as well as provide better phishing protection.


Phishing protection ( below)
The description of the flaw can be found here [2]


General mechanism for blacklisting and whitelisting
  • ability to allow/disallow sites the usage of each and every "abusable" function
    • each and every plugin (java,flash,pdf,multimedia,_each_and_every_)
    • (java)script (general/sub-functions (->folding))
    • blink, animated gif/jpg/png/whatever
    • automatic reload (meta http-equiv="Refresh")
    • cookies
    • etc. etc.
  • allow temporarily
    • one specific URL in one specific (the current) window (means tab)
    • one specific site/IP-range in one ...
    • specific site/URL in all open tabs

- look for blacklist/whitelist below
- Adblock extension
- NoScript extension </td></tr>

  • Ability to disable XMLHTTP* javascript calls entirely. AJAX rocks, but it could be a potential security threat (for example, I enter in my credit card number, and then think better of it. But too late! The asynchronous javascript has already sent my details back to some nefarious web site before I clicked "submit").
  • Ability to see graphically if asynchronous calls are being made on my behalf (mabye add a flashing icon to the status bar?)
  • Ability to selectively allow/disallow certain sites from using AJAX.

n/a </td></tr>

Surf by IP protection
  • Two new security options, which should be checked by default...

[ ] Disallow visiting sites by IP address (IP anywhere in the URL)
[ ] Allow local LAN IPs
(192.168.x, etc. for getting to your home router, access-point configuration pages, or some corporate intranets) By using these security options, you will quickly kill off all the "lasy phishers" who don't setup or register a domain-name for thier false site.


n/a </td></tr>

Download actions -- don't download
  • Under Options/ Content / File Types / Manage dialog (called Download Actions) -- add option "don't download files like this". At the moment if the plugin exists, I can only select which application will open the file, but the file will always be downloaded. It should be possible to disable handling and downloading of some file type.

n/a </td></tr>

Security preferences
  • Automated user preference auditing with user notification of potentially problematic preference settings.

n/a </td></tr>

Phishing protection
  • Make it easier to report phishing sites
  • Implement a phishing filter that learns automatically
    • Consider intergration with something like PhishTank [3]
  • Multi-provider support for local list checking (depending upon provider demand)
  • new approach: allow certificate whitelisting.
    • Organizations could sign certificates not just (as today) in order to confirm the identity but to confirm that a web site belongs to the "good guys". Users could mark the certificate of such an organization as trustworthy. When displaying a site which has been approved that way the browser should mark it somehow (a green address field e.g.). This is just an infrastructure idea. If Firefox supports that people will start to offer whitelists. Whitelisting makes more sense than blacklisting - it's easier and safer. There are rather few web sites which are potential phishing targets so it should work.
    • Additionally, rather than just using a green address field: once a website is verified as trusted, the domain matches the certificate, the trusted domain's logo could be requested from a standard location on the trusted domain's server. This logo should be of a standard size and displayed near the browser acitivity icon. The intention is to give the impression of a holographic imprint of authenticity. Logo's should be tracked by root certificate authorities to ensure no two are similar.(Randomly 14:43, 7 December 2006 (PST))
  • new approach: bi-directional registrations.
    • When a user registers with a site, the browser submits a request to the site to send back a password (let's name this password the site password). This password is kept by the browser in the password list. When the user tries to login into a site, the browser sends the user password to the site and the site sends back the site password; then the browser compares the site password with the one stored internally and if they don't match, the site is not displayed in the browser. With bi-directional registration, both sides (the user and the site) must submit a password to each other in order to view the site. A phishing site can not know the site password (unless the original site is compromised during registration), so users are safe, even in the presence of identical web pages or domain names.
    • This approach requires a little more work from the web applications that must generate, keep and send site passwords. But from the client side, it is a flexible solution that can be automated at browser level.
  • Alert on password reuse: All passwords submitted on trusted sites have a cryptographic hash stored and the browser prevent submission of any of these password on untrusted sites forms. The confirmation message box could teach users about using different passwords on untrusted sites too. gallstone symptoms The check could be performed on the fly as user enter text, field value should not be trusted to prevent password scrambling before submission. Alert flag can be set on each matching keypress and should remain set if text gets longer.

certificate whitelisting - in German [4] </td></tr>

Safer Browsing
  • Like anti-phishing, but with a list of sites that are known or suspected of being a source of malware (virii, spyware, etc). Similar to the McAfee Site Advisor extension.
  • Temporary disabling extensions

See bug 347849 </td></tr>

Script execution
  • Integrate script execution whitelisting
  • Allow cross-site scripting between whitelisted sites (for mashups)
  • Is this the right place for this request? Provide 'visibility' attribute for iframes defaulting to 'private', also allowing 'protected'. Private indicating child cannot access parents, protected indicating the first child may access parents.


bug 320522 </td></tr>

  • Implement one-click viewing of blocked pop-ups
  • Make printing popup windows possible
  • Implement a way to block every pop-up window, regardless of the way it was requested.
  • Let the user allow temporally show pop-ups for a certain site (like IE). The way it is now, makes a hard to visit a site just once.

- More on printing pop-ups

Secure Defaults/ No Security Pop-ups
  • People find security popups just as anoying as pop-up advertisements.
  • Completely move away from the "ask the user to do dangerous things" mentality. People are already getting annoyed with Vista constantly bombarding them with security questions, and are well trained to just click "yes/ok" [Dangerous!].
  • Use secure defaults, and only provide "notifications" whenever appropriate at the top of the screen (that do not require user intervention- but give the option to "allow" the potentially dangerous action).
  • A major selling point of Firefox would be that it has no annoying popup (security or otherwise) messages.


Restricted Javascript
  • Prevent window resizing
  • Prevent hiding toolbar/controls
  • Prevent capturing mouse events (overriding clicks, and obnoxious mouse-tracking scripts)
  • Prevent floaters (or have some way to hide these layers)
  • Prevent automatic form submission (or "Did you really want to submit this?")
  • Trace window/panel with the history of form submissions and visited URLs, with the option of ask before submit everytime.
  • Provide a way to prevent a browser window from being locked up by a Javascript loop which repeatedly produces a Javascript dialog, e.g. a "Stop script" button in Javascript dialogs (for instance :
  • Per-site javascript settings, i.e. allow users to choose to enable "move/resize window", "replace context menu" etc, on a per-site basis, instead of just a single global option.
    • Please, PLEASE don't forget Intranet and Web Application usage scenarios when considering the Restricted Javascript proposal. There are countless weblications that depend on one or more of the above. If the Javascript restrictions are not (at least) configurable, and possibly defaulted to 'no restrictions' for local or LAN-accessed files, then those applications will break or mis-function. Jabbott 10:32, 16 October 2006 (PDT)

n/a </td></tr>

  • Add cookie whitelist funcitonality
  • One-click block/allow cookies1
  • Allow cookies from sites (on request) remain persistant even after the browser has been restarted
  • Allow session cookies per window/tab so that multiple logins can be had to services such as gmail/hotmail simultaneously.2
  • "Supercookies"
  • Never accept cookies associated with invisuble images: single, pixel GIFs and so forth
  • Extensions like "Extended Cookie Manager" allow you to enable or disable cookies for the current site. However, it is common that sites use redirection, and a different site for actual authentication. Something like when browsing So, simple "enable cookies for this site" features are not effective.
  • The "ask every time" cookie dialog box should have another checkbox: "Don't ask again". This is so you can deny a cookie, and not have many more dialogs pop up to deny.gall bladder symptoms This would complement a "One-click block/allow cookies" feature.
  • More granular cookie controls - allowing regex definitions of what cookies should be accepted or declined. Not just based on the source site but also on the contents of the cookie. E.g. I don't care what site it is from, I never want to accept a cookie that contains the string AD_ID, even if I accept other cookies from a site.
  • Have an option to automatically allow session cookies, even if I asked to ask every time, like in Internet Explorer. The main use of asking every time is to be able to allow permanent cookies only for those sites you trust, and to make every one else to last only for the session. But session cookies will do it anyway, so it's a waste of time having to opt in each one.
  • Cookie-Editor
  • Support for non-"top-level" domains (e.g. don't allow cookies for
  • In the "Cookies" dialog box, have a button named "Block Cookies" that removes a selected cookie and creates an entry in the "Exceptions - Cookies" dialog box that blocks cookies from that cookie's site.
  • In the "Exceptions - Cookies" dialog box, right-clicking a cookie site causes a right-click menu to appear that allows you to change the cookie site status between "Block," "Allow for Session," and "Allow."
  • Cookie timer, override the site-specified cookie expiry time with a user-adjustable default, possibly a different time on a per-site basis (e.g. always expire cookies from after 30 minutes).
  • Encrypt cookies using Master Password.

Fix cookie domain checks to not allow
1 Like "CookieCuller"
2 Like CookiePie

Exploit Mitigation
  • Please consider splitting all page rendering code into a seperate process running with reduced permissions, either using ACL on Windows, or as a seperate low-privilege user on Unix-style systems. Use IPC mechanisms to handle network interaction and requests to save files in non-sandboxed directories. Assume that a network deliverable attack will exist, please ensure that the worse that happens is that the rendering engine must be restarted.
    • To secure a process on Linux, simply write to the /proc/self/seccomp file. The process will then only be able to communicate via existing file descriptors (be sure to close the X11 one) and existing shared memory regions. Only about four system calls are allowed for a process in secure mode: read, write, exit, and signal handler return.
    • To secure a process on a domain/type enforcement system like SE Linux, use a separate executable for handling untrusted content. A separate executable is required so that the security system can wall it off, permitting only communication with the other components of the browser. (components being: separate UI, network, config file access, cookie access, cache access, other disk access)

For Windows samples see: User:SergioJ </td></tr>

Extension installation
  • One-click to permanently add site to whitelist
  • One-click to temporarily add site to whitelist for this session
  • Third-party signing and authentication by Mozilla

Extension Blacklisting UI Spec

Virus/Malware protection
  • Intergrate a sandboxing feature automatically. (Like Sandboxie -
  • Integrate virus scanning and malware protection for retrieved content/files
  • Integrated support for 3rd party Anti-virus scanners
  • Firefox to run in a "Protected mode" like IE7/Vista (see the Sandboxing above)
    • See Exploit Mitigation comment above.

n/a </td></tr>

  • Employ some shared-secret anti-spoofing techniques1
  • Prevent content and scripts from being able to spoof or mimic protected chrome
  • SSL auth required for send password
    • This is an optional, but strongly recommended feature suggested during install
    • Sending password with FORM.send or Javascript.Send check if the page is SSL encrypted and will display an error message if there's no valid SSL certificate.
    • Do not allow adding "*" to FORM.edit field from Javascript (avoid spoof)
    • This way a user will get warning when tries to log in to an unsafe service, like phishing sites. All sites with authentication should have valid SSL certificate or should be added to "safe to login" list.2
  • Add some indication of which site produced a Javascript dialog, to prevent dialogs appearing to come from another site in a tabbed session.
  • Check digital signature of a web page based on some extended DNS records. That way if a site is defaced, it will be obvious. Note that SSL does not guard against defacement, but this will.

1 PassPet
2 details & discussion

Visualy showing server access

Show every server access (by a moving icon), including AJAX access (see above) and streaming, for example, not only standard HTTP access.


New technology support
  • Extended Validation Certificate support
  • Integrated PGP/GPG to sign/encrypt/authenticate text (eg Web Mail)

Extended Validation defined by CA/B Forum; this is related to a suggestion further down titled "SSL Verification Levels" </td></tr>

HTTP authentication improvements
  • Support for logging out of basic or digest HTTP authentication (RFC 2617 style)
  • Implement a somewhat secure HTTP shared-secret authentication scheme based on SRP. The RFC2617 schemes are both very vulnerable to phishing.
  • Show content of 401-unauthorized pages, and add widgets to login via forms instead of modal dialogs

See bug 355319 </td></tr>

Keychain support for MAC OS X / KDE / Gnome
  • Save passwords in the OS-level Keychain on OS X, so that passwords can be shared between Safari / FIrefox / Camino / etc.
  • Ability to switch to external password manager like kwallet etc. and to disable firefox standard password manager

See bug 278343
and bug 309807 </td></tr>

Parental Controls
  • Filtering, prevent programs from being downloaded, keep sensitive information from being transmitted, monitoring, logging, etc.
  • Should work with third party vendors to implement a set of baseline capabilities (that are somewhat commoditized) while providing awareness for higher value products and services.

n/a </td></tr>

SSL Verification Levels

Certificate authorities offer a variety of different certificates. Some only check if the applicant has an Email (like admin or info) in the domain for which the certificate is requested. Some require the applicant to send in some proof of his/her identity.

  • It would be nice to see the level of trust an ssl certicate has.
  • Different Icons for different Levels of certificates would make my decision to trust a website easier.
  • Always show either in the padlock or popup the O= subject when available and therefore validated
  • Certificate-Levels to think of: Domain validated, web of trust, Company identity validated, ...

n/a </td></tr>

Support StartTLS
  • Without StartTLS, managing virtual hosts with TLS support is a pain (because it requires many IP addresses, for example). StartTLS support could make TLS use much more common.
</td> </td></tr>

Support .hta files
  • in IE a local .hta file is an html-application. It's like an html-file but has all rights on the local machine (read/write everything), so it's in fact a program. A .hta-file runs like a program in its own window, not in a tab.
</td> </td></tr>

Allow user access to Firefox when a dialog box pops up
  • Some malicious sites cause a "Click Ok" box to pop-up repeatedly. While this box is active, Firefox (currently) makes it so the user cannot click anywhere in Firefox but that box. This prevents the user from exiting that specific website, and requires them to force-quit Firefox before they can continue using it again.

Requesting: for Firefox to allow the user to navigate or close tabs, while a dialog box is open.

One solution could be to provide an extra button in the alert and other pop-up dialogs to close the tab. This would also be viable for breaking the Javascript Execution loops(See below).

I have seen sites (related to porntube) that force users to install malicious software (like a video viewer) in this way. Most browser users haven't the skills to start taskmanager, looking up the Firefox process and then kill it after having the guts to risk system instability (as the windows popup warns for). Their other two common options to end this are trying to log out or simply cutting the power.symptoms of kidney stones

So, there has to come a far more easier way to abort such exploits.


The following website takes advantage of this problem, when you try to navigate away from it. It will make your browser temporarily unusable with current versions of Firefox, so be careful:

For examples of the install exploit, see your spam and look for references to <somesite>/r.html </td></tr>

Highlight the URL domain name in the address bar
  • using bold/underline or a different font size/color, so that the user can be sure that he is really accessing '' instead of ''. If this second phishing URL is inadvertently used, the browser therefore would highlight '' which would strongly hint at the user that the URL is wrong.
Break JavaScript Execution
  • Reiterating what was mentioned already, infinite (message) loops essentially lock up the browser. Some kind of hot key combination or special behavior (close button/box kills code execution) should be implemented to halt unending JavaScript code.


Ability to copy fingerprint of SSL certificate
  • In the "Certificate Viewer" it is not possible to copy the fingerprint shown. Copying the fingerprint to the clipboard would allow the user to store the fingerprint at an arbitrary location for later reference. (For example, I verified the SSL fingerprint for my online banking site with my local branch, so I don't care whether it's signed by a CA, but prefer to check the fingerprint myself.)


"Alert me when this site changes its SSL certificate"
  • It would be nice to have an option to be alerted if a site changes its SSL certificate, e.g. after a certificate has been thoroughly verified by obtaining the fingerprint from a trusted source.


One-click "accept certificate for this session" (as in Firefox 2)
  • It would be nice to have a button "Accept certificate temporarily for this session", so one does not need three clicks and a certificate download (hasn't the certificate been downloaded already?) to view a site that presents a self-signed certificate. For a novice user this button might be hidden, but an expert should have such an option... (I want a browser, not a nanny.)


General tasks
  • Improve user notification of insecure browsing situations
    • Rather than pop up annoying dialogs when a site has a bad security certificate, simply perform the encryption without showing the lock icon. (make the https site happy without bothering or misleading the user)
  • Improve handling of digital certificates
  • Improve phishing protection UI
  • Improve overall security UI
  • Improve pop-up blocking UI and options
  • Implement a Security Center like Netscape 8.1

n/a </td></tr>

Integrated something like adblock.


n/a </td></tr>

  • Integrated mini-Firewall

Integrate a plugin tool, which emulates some kind like a Firewall, like the "Foxie" plugin to IE, but of course, more powerful.

  • Session manager

A module that allow you, to save your session, restore, modify and lot of more things to do with them !! (Like Opera o MyIE).

By Kaamos </td></tr>

Tweak Master Password options?

Currently, the only way to secure the viewing of all passwords (Tools>Options>Security>Show Passwords) is to set a master password. Unfortunately, this master password must be entered every session, which effectively blocks a friend from browsing without having the owner of the master password nearby.

I propose there be at least four options for the master password:

  • Current (Enter master password at the commencement of each session)
  • Delayed, entered on first need (Enter master password the first time any password is needed, but non-password surfing is unrestricted)
  • Entered on each need (Enter master password the any time a password is needed, but non-password surfing is unrestricted)
  • Master password is only needed to Show Passwords, but not to use them (equivalent to no master password, but protects unfettered access to plain-text passwords).

Please indicate if this suggestion is better placed in UI. (Reasoning: this improvement [admittedly to the UI] would result in significantly greater security and increased used of master passwords.)

Master password

Why must every password be encrypted? I've got dozens of passwords which I simply don't care about, the only reason they exist is because some site or other insisted I have to "register" before I can do anything.

It would be nice to visit these sites (eg. youtube) without having to deal with the "enter master password" popup box. Save the encryption for the identities I actually care about.

Age of the site

Maybe for fishing/blacklisting, taking in to account the age of the site and if he is spam advertised. There is, I think, more risk at a recent site. Selecting spam advertised recent sites has a low risk for false positives. To find out the age of a site, perhaps the time of the DNS registration can be used. Maybe there is a way to see if the site is all ready known in search engines and other databases. I suppose the existence of a zone to enter a password is all ready taken into account, but it may also be combined with the two other Rhino Deck factors.

Packaging with an open source OS

The internet is of course a gateway for dangers for your computer. Packaging a browser with an OS could is one way to isolate different security zones from each other. There are many different options like

1) using the os/browser combination to protect an other more critical os/data on the same computer (a company could use it to isolate the internet use from it's internal network, perhaps using a ipsec tunnel to keep the internet information insite)

2) people could use it to do more critical things like homebanking on a not so safe computer.

There could be some mechanism needed tot transport data from one security zone to the other one. In a compagny a server could do that. In a homecomputer maybe there is a need for a special one's to allow the host system to update himself without going itself on the internet. Some situations could ask for special, very strict security rules. Like limiting everything that is executed on the OS that is packed with the browser.

Master password pop-up

If i don't know the master password or don't want to enter it, it will throw a pop-up at me on every page of a site, where a password has been saved and can be entered. This quickly becomes very annoying.

I wish you would add an option to make Firefox stop asking for a master password if i choose cancel. Another and IMHO a better option would be, to disable the pop-up altogether and add a icon/button to the toolbar, which shows if any saved passwords are available for the site, on click to the icon, the pop up would show up.

A more advanced feature relating to "password saving" would be to, add an option to define individually for each password/site if it should ask for a master password or not.

I think this is basically the same as my suggestion in the section "Master password", ie.

  • Popup windows for every web site = annoying.
  • I want my paypal password encrypted but I don't care if my youtube/fark/etc. password is encrypted.

I propose the following:

a) Each password has an extra flag to indicate whether or it's encrypted/not.

b) A checkbox in the "remember this password?" dialog to select whether the password should be encrypted or not (default = "encrypted").

c) A check mark for each password in the list of stored passwords to enable/disable encryption of each individual password.

This is a very good security feature because I wouldn't be constantly surfing in "master password has already been entered" mode (I visit youtube/fark/etc. a few times a day but I only visit paypal once every couple of weeks). It also helps protect against keyloggers and other malware for the same reason, i.e. you enter your master password much less often so they have less chances to grab it.

"Save Username Only" option for Password Manager
  • Some sites require full domain\username to be entered for the username. This can be really long to type. It would be nice if you could choose to only remember the username field without having to save both username AND password.

"Search through Passwords" option for password Manager
  • It would be very helpful if you could easily search through stored passwords. A simple Ctrl+F command in the saved passwords would allow users to quickly find the site they are looking for.

"Clear Private Data to be better managed" option for password Manager
  • If someone has set a master password and then via clear private data he or someone else checks on Saved Passwords option, the person should be prompted to enter the master password. This way it would prevent someone else from erasing saved passwords when he does not have access to the same.

"Backup the current username/password" option for password Manager
  • In case someone is migrating to a new PC or re-install the Operating system it will be nice to restore the saved password like the bookmarks.


Per-Site SSL Client certificate setting

Users should be able to select the default certificate to use on a per-site basis. If the certificate is not available, Firefox should follow its current ruleset for selecting a certificate. This would make life easier for those with multiple valid certificates to sites that require a certificate to login. Currently to accomplish this, users must set the preference to ask every time which can be quite tedious when the Firefox is requesting a certificate selection over and over again.



User Account System

This could be the one and only feature that everybody would want that I don't see in any browser just yet.

The basic idea is to have an account log in system in the browser itself with a quick and easy way to do log in and log out. At least two accounts, one main user account and a guest account are needed just like on operating systems.

This way, the user can leave everything "open" without his/her works being seen in office when he/she needs to take a break or take a shower at home. Yes, home, too. Sometimes, a personal computer is not that personal if you simply just leave it open or if someone needs to borrow it for even just one second. Then, when the user comes back, he/she can get right back in what was left without re-opening everything up.

Even when the browser is launched, it will automatically load up the home pages "in the background." And the user can simply do a log-in and see everything he/she needs right away. Although the log-in system from the operating systems can do the tricks but this browser feature can definitely save up the hassle of loadings from switching operating system accounts or hibernation when your colleague or sibling wants to borrow your computer for a quick search.

The log in/out system can be like a recorded gesture or a simple click on a button somewhere on the browser. And an auto time-out feature can be set in case of a rush meeting or something. Of course, a unique log-in info that's different from the web services often used is recommended for this user feature.

Once the browser log-in system is set, users can save all the passwords and IDs within that browser account for easy access to their favorite sites. For example, I would like to save my log in ID and password for all the google services I use to save time when I need them immediately; however, I don't want my gmail to be seen by anyone when I am away from my computer.

All in all, a separated browser based log-in system is needed especially for more and more webware usages. Hope to see it soon.

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