SmartBlock: Mozilla improves private surfing with Firefox

SmartBlock replaces blocked third-party scripts. This is supposed to maintain the functionality of websites with script-based staplers. Firefox 87 also fixes several serious security vulnerabilities.

Mozilla has released the final version of Firefox 87 for download. A new function is called SmartBlock, which is supposed to improve the protection of privacy. It extends the integrated content blocker to make it easier to display websites that use tracking techniques.

If desired, Firefox prevents the execution of scripts, images and other content on a website provided by tracking providers. According to a blog post, this limits the ability of these providers to track users across websites. However, an ad blocker may also restrict the legitimate functions of a website.

This leads to the fact that, for example, images are missing, the performance of a website deteriorates or the page does not load at all, says Mozilla. "To reduce these disruptions, Firefox 87 introduces the new privacy feature we call SmartBlock."

According to Mozilla, Smart Block replaces blocked third-party scripts with its own scripts. “These replacement scripts have enough of the original scripts to make sure the website works properly,” the blog post said. In this way, the functionality of a page is retained.

Also new is a standard HTTP referrer policy. Its purpose is to truncate path and query string information on referrer headers so that websites do not inadvertently divulge sensitive user data.

According to the release notes, the developers are also closing several security holes with Firefox 87, some of which pose a high risk. According to Mozilla, this also includes memory errors that may allow malicious code to be injected and executed.

Firefox 87 offers Mozilla for Windows, macOS and Linux. Users who have already installed the browser receive the new release via the integrated update function. You may need to restart your browser to complete the installation.

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