Firefox To Include ‘Have I Been Pwned’ Alerts

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Breach notifications to be included for Firefox users to alert them if their data is compromised in a data breach

Mozilla over the coming weeks is to begin trialling an integration between the data breach service, Have I Been Pwned (HIBP) and its Firefox web browser.

The idea is to make breach data searchable via a new tool called “Firefox Monitor”, and will be a welcome development, as until now Firefox users had to rely on notifications by particular vendors or by media reports, if their personal data has been compromised.

And data breaches are an increasingly common problem nowadays, as evidenced by the recent admission from Dixons Carphone of “unauthorised access” to 5.9 million payment cards and 1.2 million personal data records.

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Have I Been Pwned (HIBP) is run by security researcher Troy Hunt, who set it up as a simple location for people to check if their personal data had been compromised by any data breaches.

Users can utilise HIBP to check their email addresses against a vast database of known compromised accounts. Its database currently contains 5.1 billion accounts from 289 breached sites.

And now Hunt revealed in a blog post on Tuesday that his HIBP service, will soon integrate with Mozilla’s Firefox browser.

A feature found in Firefox Monitor, a new Mozilla security tool, which is currently in testing, enables users to check if their personal data has been compromised by any data breaches logged by HIBP.

The idea is that by building notification directly into the browser will notify Firefox users as soon as an independent security service such as Hunt’s becomes aware of a breach.

“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’, blogged Hunt.

This is major because Firefox has an install base of hundreds of millions of people which significantly expands the audience that can be reached once this feature rolls out to the mainstream..”

“I’m really happy to see Firefox integrating with HIBP in this fashion, not just to get it in front of as many people as possible, but because I have a great deal of respect for their contributions to the technology community,” he wrote.

“In order to help keep personal information and accounts safe, we will be testing user interest in a security tool that lets users check if one of their accounts has been compromised in a data breach,” said Mozilla.

Breach notification

“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,” it said.

“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,” Mozilla said. “The site will offer recommendations on what to do in the case of a data breach, and how to help secure all accounts. We are also considering a service to notify people when new breaches include their personal data.”

The development comes comes after Mozilla had back in late 2017 said that it would build a feature for the Firefox browser that would alert users who may have been affected by a data breach.

At that time Troy Hunt confirmed he was working on the project with Mozilla, and now it seems that the service is only a matter of weeks from launching.

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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