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Noscript Firefox security extension goes mobile

Available for Android and Maemo
Mon Oct 17 2011, 12:09

POPULAR FIREFOX SECURITY EXTENSION Noscript has been released for Android and Maemo builds, giving users of these two mobile operating systems access to a web browser security feature comparable to that available to desktop computer users.

"This is the first feature-complete mobile version of NoScript. In other words, it provides all the major security features of its desktop counterpart which make sense on a mobile device," said Noscript's creator Giorgio Maone in announcing the Firefox extension's 3.0a8 release.

Noscript is one of the most widely appreciated browser security extensions and is pretty much the only one that provides protection against so many types of attacks.

The extension's core functionality is to block third-party scripts by default and give users the ability to whitelist them one by one.

This design protects against malware attacks that rely on injecting rogue code into legitimate web pages, because the malicious content is usually hosted on external domains.

Furthermore, Noscript is known for featuring one of the best cross-site scripting and clickjacking filters and it was the first software to introduce the click-to-play concept for Flash videos, Java applets and other active content.

The extension also has advanced features like HTTPS enforcement and a web application firewall known as ABE (Application Boundaries Enforcer).

All of this functionality can be found in the mobile version, along with new features designed specifically for mobile systems. For example, Noscript 3.0a8 allows users to choose from four different configurations at first run: a blacklisting mode, where domains must be blocked manually instead of being untrusted by default, a click-to-play-only mode for active content, a classic whitelisting mode, and full protection, which is whitelisting plus click-to-play.

The developers have also modified the user interface to meet the restrictions imposed by handset touchscreens and redesigned the permission system for more control and usability. They will port these changes to the desktop in a future cross-device version of the extension.

That release will also add the ability to synchronise settings across devices, and won't require browser restarts when it updates itself. "It's not been easy, and there's still a lot of work ahead to merge into the desktop version the many under the hood enhancements that this full rewrite of NoScript's internals brought us as a welcome side effect, but this is probably the most important milestone in NoScript development since the XSS filter invention," Maone concluded. µ


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