Firefox 90 lands with just-in-time support to unblock Facebook when users sign in

Image: Mozilla

Firefox 90 appeared from Mozilla this week, and one of the new features that arrived was better support for logging in using Facebook credentials when the browser is in strict blocking mode or in a private window.

SmartBlock first appeared in Firefox 87, released in March, and it provided local replacements for blocked third-party tracking scripts.

“These alternate scripts behave just enough like the originals to make sure the website is functioning properly. They allow faulty sites relying on the original scripts to load with their functionality intact,” Mozilla said at the time. .

One area where SmartBlock failed, however, was support for Facebook login buttons on the web. In one blog post, Mozilla explained that this was due to the inclusion of Facebook trackers in the list of trackers provided by its partner, but the SmartBlock 2.0 update is expected to fix this issue.

“Before Firefox 90, if you were using an incognito window, when you clicked the ‘Continue with Facebook’ button to log in, the ‘login’ would fail because the required third-party Facebook script had been blocked by Firefox,” the blog said. .

“Now, SmartBlock 2.0 in Firefox 90 eliminates this login problem. Initially, Facebook scripts are all blocked, as before, ensuring that your privacy is preserved. But when you click the ‘Continue with Facebook’ button to log in, SmartBlock responds by quickly unblocking the Facebook login script just in time for the login to go smoothly. ”

Mozilla said the new feature works on “a lot of websites,” and Firefox will continue to block Facebook trackers on all sites where a user has not logged in.

Windows users will now have Firefox updated in the background, with Firefox 90 checking every 7 hours for a new version. To enable background updating, users must allow automatic installation of updates and check the “When Firefox is not running” box. The feature only works when the browser has been installed from its installer, rather than unzipped from a zip file, and no language packs are installed.

Although Mozilla has announced that it will roll out the feature gradually, a napp.update.background.scheduling.enabled flag exists for users to enable it now.

Firefox on Windows will also gain a about: third-party page which lists add-ons, such as antivirus, that have been injected into the browser and could be causing problems.

Firefox 90 will also support Retrieve Metadata Request Headers to allow web applications to defend against certain cross-site attacks.

“The Sec-Fetch-Site HTTP Request Header allows the web application server to distinguish between a same-origin request from the corresponding web application and a cross-origin request from a site Web controlled by an attacker, ”Mozilla said.

“Inspecting the Sec-Fetch- * headers ultimately allows the web application server to also reject or ignore malicious requests due to the additional context provided by the Sec-Fetch- * family of headers. In total, there are four different Sec-Fetch- * headers: Destination, Mode, Site, and User which together allow web applications to protect themselves and their end users against [cross-site attacks]. ”

The latest Firefox edition finally marks the end of in-browser FTP support, and most users without hardware-accelerated WebRender will use WebRender software instead.

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