Firefox browser will not give any support for sideloaded extensions from the next year against malware threats. The aim of this implementation was stated to give users more control over their extensions.
Firefox version 73 is planned to have a pre-release on December 3 and a full release in February 2020. This period will be a transitional stage for phasing out the sideloaded extension support in Mozilla Firefox due to its being used for installing malware into Firefox. Sideloading is defined as a method for installing a browser extension by adding a file from a specific location on a user’s machine through an executable application installer.
Till March 10, Firefox continues to read sideloaded files
For preventing malware into Firefox during sideloading, the Firefox browser announced that they would give up supporting for sideloaded extensions. According to the statement, from February 11, 2020, the release date of Firefox version 73 to March 10, 2020, Firefox will continue to read sideloaded files. Still, they will be copied over to the user’s profile and installed as regular add-ons. Then from 10 March, sideloaded extensions will be phased out entirely.
“The transitional stage in Firefox 73 will ensure that no installed add-ons will be lost, and end-users will gain the ability to remove them if they chose to,” they added.
After the firm announced this change, some feedback on the community forum expressed confusion about how this change will give more control to Firefox users. The firm added new statements to the announcement and underlined that:
“With this change, we are enforcing more transparency in the installation process, by letting users choose whether they want to install an application companion extension or not, and letting them remove it when they want to.”
With the words, “Other forms of automatic extension deployment like the ones used for some Linux distributions and applications like Selenium may be impacted by these changes. We’re still investigating some technical details around these cases and will try to strike the right balance between user choice and minimal disruption,” the firm underlined their support the users during this transitional stage.