Software plugins are components that give special functionalities to a bigger software application. Today most of the audio and visual programs carry plugins as they help to boost the competence of the software. While some plugins come along with the software program, most of them are developed independently and are generally made freely available on the net. Plugins are supported by software programs for the following reasons:
- It allows software developers to produce competency to enlarge a software program.
- It allows the consumer to add new features without difficulty.
- It helps to decrease the length of a software program.
- It helps to detach source code from the software program due to disparity of software licenses.
Why Mozilla to Block All Plugins
However, plugins developed by a third-party can be really annoying for internet users and imperfectly constructed plugins can cause pauses when loading or unloading, use up a large amount of memory when browsing the net and make Firefox crash suddenly. This makes browsing on the internet a frustrating experience. In order to overcome this problem, Mozilla has decided to install a security feature in its program that will block all plugins from loading until the user permits it to do so.
The company’s “click-to-play plugin blocks” which will be added to Firefox 17 will obstruct current versions of plugins except the most recent Flash Player. Though click-to-play blocks plugins, users can make the block inactive by clicking on the blocked gray area on the internet page. This means that whenever the user tries to access a developer’s plugin using Firefox, the plugin will be blocked and cannot be accessed till the user gives the web browser the consent to access it. This will help improve the performance and strength of Firefox while also safeguarding it. It also gives the users more power as the user can control Click-To-Play by either choosing to run plugins always or choosing to block them all at once. The user will also be encouraged to upgrade the plugin, if an upgradation is available.
Though this is not a universal plugin administration system, it will be predominantly helpful as a prevention method against drive-by download exploits that attack plugins that are known to be susceptible. These are used by scammers during cyber attacks, where the user with obsolete or defenseless plugins can get contaminated with malicious software by simply scanning through any web site that has an abuse tool. Plugin abuse tools can be there on malicious web sites as well as on genuine but defenseless websites and are unknowingly inflicting visitors with malware. Click-to-Play safeguards users in such situations as automatic loading of plugins will be prevented.
According to Mozilla this extreme step was required to increase effectiveness and improve security as plugins often crashes an internet browser or makes it unusable. By merging the security of the blocklist with the flexibility of click-to-play, Mozilla is providing an effective method of dealing with susceptible or outdated plugins. Instead of choosing between plugins that are prone to attack but practical and harmless but less helpful the click-to-play blocklisted plugins gives the consumer the option to make an educated decision depending on the present situation. This will safeguard the users from the increasing surge of bugs in plug-ins.