Mozilla has rolled out an update for its widely used web-browser Firefox and added an option to block crypto mining scripts.
The feature has been added to the Firefox Quantum browser and is tucked inside the “Privacy & Security” settings alongside the option to control cookies and trackers.
Crypto jacking has become a grave problem in recent years as websites run scripts to use visitors’ computing power to mine cryptocurrencies. According to a report published by cybersecurity firm McAfee last December, the use of crypto jacking malware increased by 4,000 percent in 2018.
Along with the crypto mining-blocker, Mozilla also introduced a feature to tackle fingerprinting, which allows any malware to create a digital fingerprint of the visitor and track online activities.
“One of the three key areas we said we’d tackle was mitigating harmful practices like fingerprinting which builds a digital fingerprint that tracks you across the web, and crypto mining which uses the power of your computer’s CPU to generate cryptocurrency for someone else’s benefit,” the company noted.
To introduce the new features, Mozilla partnered with cybersecurity company Disconnect and also tested them for a month before rolling out the final version.
“Based on recent testing of this feature in our pre-release channels last month, today’s Firefox release gives you the option to “flip a switch” in the browser and protect yourself from these nefarious practices,” Mozilla said.
Browser vs crypto mining
Firefox is not the only web-browser to take initiatives to tackle crypto jacking, as its competition Opera also introduced similar services last year. Google also banned all shady extensions from Chrome’s web store, the official market place for the browser’s extensions.
Meanwhile, Coinhive, a remote crypto mining service, shut its operations earlier this year due to the slumping prices of digital assets. It was one of the widely used crypto jacking services for mining privacy coins like Monero.