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08 December 2008, 13:50

Mozilla pulls anti-phishing feature from Firefox 2

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The last version of Firefox 2 to be released before it is discontinued will not contain the anti-phishing feature. It appears that Google has asked Mozilla to remove the feature from 2.0.19, which is due for release very shortly.

Firefox 2 is nearing the end of its useful life anyway. Following the release of Firefox 2.0.19 on the 16th of December, Mozilla will discontinue support for Version 2 and encourage users to switch to Firefox 3. Any users who decide against upgrading to the newer version will not only miss out on security updates, they will also have to live without the browser's protection from drive-by-downloads and phishing sites.

This protection is provided with the aid of Google's Safe Browsing API. Strangely, Firefox 2 still uses the old API version 1, which Google intends to shut down soon. Upgrading the API to version 2 as already used in Firefox 3 was not possible because of 2.0.19's declared status as a security update. It was decided to switch off the phishing protection completely in 2.0.19. Firefox executive Mike Beltzner said that users would receive clear warnings when carrying out the update. According to the browser statistics collected here at heise, one in seven users of Firefox are still using Firefox 2.


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