Archive for the NoScript Category

Notice to mariners: starting with NoScript version 2.6.6.9 (ATM still a RC) and next version of FlashGot (1.5.5.6, most likely) the packages (XPIs) of my Firefox add-ons won’t be signed anymore.

Almost no other Firefox extension gets signed these days (NoScript and FlashGot had been among the earliest and few for a long time), and AMO being the only authorized repository you can install the add-on from by default, there’s little or no point in keeping the relatively expensive and clunky signature machinery in place.

You probably noticed AMO lags quite a lot behind stable versions. That’s because the editorial staff manually checks every line of code published as “stable” for security issues and known performance problems. Therefore, if you’d like to always run the latest and safest (a good idea for a security tool like NoScript), you may want to switch to the fast lane, i.e. the automatically up-to-date beta channel, by installing 2.6.6.9rc1 now.

NoScript: Site Security and Privacy InfoMaybe you haven’t noticed yet (and I admit it’s not an exceedingly discoverable thing), but for a long time now NoScript has offered a “Security and Privacy Info” page.

This feature is meant to help you assess the trustworthiness of any web site shown in your NoScript menu.

You can access this service by middle-clicking or shift-clicking the relevant menu item.

Furthermore, power users can customize it by changing the value of their noscript.siteInfoProvider about:config preference to any URL template of their choice.

NSA++, NoScript on Android

NSA++ (NoScript Anywhere Plus Plus, or NoScript 3.5 alpha for Android Native) has been in the works for a while now, and it’s finally ready for prime time, thanks also to the continuous help of the NLNet Foundation.

Even if it’s not as complete as its legacy Electrolysis-orphaned obsolete predecessor (NSA, designed for the now discontinued XUL Fennec, AKA Firefox 4 Mobile) yet, NSA++ already provides the best security you can get in any mobile browser: beside its trademark flexible script blocking facility, it features the first ever and still strongest XSS filter available, plus partial but functional portings of the unique ClearClick anti-Clickjacking technology and ABE’s firewall/LAN CSRF protection.

You can read more or try it with a recent Firefox Nightly (mobile or desktop, too!) on the NSA project page.

Universal XSS 0day in Adobe Flash controlled users’ Web accounts:

As useful as sandboxes are in restricting potentially buggy code to a small part of the operating system, they do nothing to minimize the damage that can be done by attacks that exploit universal XSS flaws, researchers said.

I was already preaching this four years ago: the more our assets move “in the cloud”, the less traditional security measures, meant to protecting just your local system, suffice.

The battlefield is the web now, and there’s no coming back…

I’m pleased to announce the availability of NoScript 3.0a8 for mobile devices. Tested on Firefox for Android, it should work on Maemo too.

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:
NoScript for Mobile Options

Important usability-oriented features — such as Script Surrogates or the ability to emulate JavaScript-only navigation on sites where scripting is blocked — have been ported as well, and other have been developed from scratch. For instance, on first run NoScript offers new users the ability to choose its default configuration among 4 presets which may be changed later:

  1. Easy Blacklist (you pick untrusted sites where JavaScript and plugins must be blocked)
  2. Click To Play (plugin a and audiovisual content is blocked until you click a placeholder)
  3. Classic Whitelist (you pick trusted sites where JavaScript and plugins can run, similar to the default NoScript 2.x setup)
  4. Full Protection (like “Classic Whitelist”, but all the embedded content is blocked until you click, even on trusted sites)

Furthermore, while the in-page permission UI has been greatly simplified and optimized for touchscreen consumption, NoScript for Mobile In-Page Permissions UI the underlying engine has been redesigned to allow deep per-site customization at the single permission level (e.g. making Flash permanently work by default on site X but not on site Y, even if JavaScript is allowed on both, or causing restrictions on a certain embedded object to depend on its parent page’s address). These fine grained permissions will be configured through a new desktop UI (under development, slated for inclusion in the first cross-device NoScript 3 beta) and synchronized safely via Firefox Sync across all the PCs, tablets and smartphones where NoScript is installed.

Talking about synchronization, you can already share your NoScript settings among your mobile devices (just check the “Enable Remote Sync” option), but you’ll need to wait for the aforementioned cross-device beta to include your PC in the synchronization pool.

Last but not least, NoScript 3 doesn’t require a browser restart on installation and updates, which means that hot fixes for new security threats can be deployed in a more effective, timely and convenient way.

And here we are: NoScript users can now bring to their smartphones and tablets the same secure browsing experience they enjoy on the desktop.

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. So let’s celebrate and thank from the bottom of our heart the people who made it possible: the NLNet foundation which believed in this project since the beginning, and all those individuals, institutions and companies relying on and contributing back to NoScript.

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