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July 12, 2018 Security News , , , ,

Mozilla Trials Firefox Monitor for Data Breach Testing

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Late last month Mozilla announced a new security tool for its Firefox browser users. Labeled Firefox Monitor, this tool allows users to check if one of their accounts has been compromised in a data breach. Here’s how Mozilla explains the security tool:

We decided to address a growing need for account security by developing Firefox Monitor, a proposed security tool that is designed for everyone, but offers additional features for Firefox users. Visitors to the Firefox Monitor website will be able to check (by entering an email address) to see if their accounts were included in known data breaches, with details on sites and other sources of breaches and the types of personal data exposed in each breach. The site will offer recommendations on what to do in the case of a data breach, and how to help secure all accounts.

Additionally, Mozilla are considering a service to notify people when new breaches include their personal data. Now the Firefox Monitor tool is in early stage as the vendor is still testing initial designs in order to refine it. From this month Mozilla will invite roughly 250,000 users (mainly in the US) to try out the feature, which checks email addresses against the HIBP database via a method of anonymized data sharing. If the testing works smoothly, this service will soon be available to all Firefox users.

Firefox Monitor is created as the result of a partnership between Mozilla and HaveIBeenPwned.com (HIBP), a site operated by Australian security researcher Troy Hunt that includes a database of email addresses that are known to have been compromised in data breaches. To be specific, HIBP database contains nearly 5.1 billion accounts from 289 breached sites. And here’s how Troy said in his blog:

Over the coming weeks, Mozilla will begin trialling integration between HIBP and Firefox to make breach data searchable via a new tool called ‘Firefox Monitor’…….I’m really happy to see Firefox integrating with HIBP in this fashion…

Troy also mentioned his relationship with 1Password. In February he launched Pwned Passwords V2, which AgileBits later built into its 1Password to help users see if their password had been previously exposed in a breach. In March this feature was added into the desktop 1Password for Mac and Windows. And now 1Password users can directly search HIBP via the Watchtower feature in the web version of the product.

The new Firefox Quantum is available for Mac, Windows, Linux, Android and iOS.

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