Firefox with Better Protection Against PUPs and Uncommon Downloads

Latest Mozilla`s version, Firefox 49, is being launched with an upgraded “Download protections” package.

This is not the first time Mozilla has added this kind of safety feature to Firefox. “Download protections” was also in Firefox version 31 on Windows and Firefox version 39 on Linux and Mac.

So far, the “Download protections” package was warning users when they were about to download files from websites marked as not-safe in Google’s Safe Browsing feature. Now, with the Google Safe Browsing`s blacklist rapidly growing, Mozilla has updated the feature to be able to redflag much larger number of threats.

Users, who are running the newest Firefox 49 version, will see two new types of warning when downloading unreliable files. First, if Firefox detects a malicious file being downloaded, a red warning will appear above the download button. Second, if the browser notices potentially unwanted programs (also known as PUPs) or uncommon downloads, the same warning will appear on the top of the download button, but this time in yellow.

While PUPs are very well-known as a software distributing adware or other malicious programs that compromise user`s security, the “unwanted downloads” is something that Mozilla invented.

The second category, uncommon downloads, covers downloads which may not be malicious or unwanted but that are simply not commonly downloaded. The purpose of this warning is to draw users’ attention to the fact that this may not be the download they think it is. ”

For instance, users may download a Firefox version from a webpage that is not yet on the malicious list in Safe Browsing but it is marked as suspicious. Such a download of popular software from dangerous sites is “uncommon” and may be a sign that the process in not safe and users should abide by more reliable sources.

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