Firefox, which was updated this week, will by default start blocking the download of files deemed suspicious when the transfer attempt occurs in “mixed content environments”. As reported by Ghacks this Friday (13), the news will likely be available in the next version of Mozilla’s browser.
According to the site, the term “mixed content environments” refers to pages that offer a secure connection via HTTPS but provide downloads stored over HTTP, which is considered an insecure protocol. In this environment, there is the possibility of files being violated, bringing risks to the Internet user.
When this happens, Firefox will not automatically start the download, displaying a warning in the download panel along with a red exclamation icon. The alert will indicate that the file was not downloaded due to the “potential security risk” presented there, but will offer the option to proceed with the process anyway.
It is worth pointing out that this does not necessarily indicate the presence of a virus or other malicious agent in the file you are trying to download. According to the publication, the download will be blocked by the browser exclusively due to the insecure connection identified on that page.
User can disable blocking
The new security feature, similar to the one introduced a few months ago in Google Chrome, can be disabled by the user, if he so wishes. To do so, just check this option in Firefox’s preferences menu, restoring the previous download behavior.
According to Mozilla, approximately 98.5% of downloads made in Firefox Nightly, the browser’s beta version, use a secure connection. If the percentage remains in the update of the next stable version of the program, only 15 out of every 1,000 downloads will be blocked once the tool is activated.
This functionality should be one of the new features present in Firefox 92, which is scheduled to launch on September 7th.