This summer, I talked about how ZDNet journalists drew attention of Mozilla engineers to numerous abuses of the Firefox Send service, which was actively used to spread malware. As a result, Mozilla has stopped development of Firefox Send indefinitely, but the developers have promised to rework it and improve security.
Let me remind you that Firefox Send was launched in March 2019. The service was a private file hosting service that allowed Firefox users to share files.
“All files uploaded and transferred via Firefox Send were encrypted, and users could set the age for which files were stored on the server, and also set the number of downloads allowed before the expiration date”, – said the developers.
Although Mozilla engineers planned Firefox Send, caring for privacy and security of other users, since the end of 2019, the service has become very popular not with ordinary people, but with malware developers. In most cases, hackers exploited the service in a very simple way: they downloaded malware payloads in Firefox Send, where the file is saved in encrypted form, and then inserted links to this file, for example, in phishing emails.
While Mozilla initially said the Send shutdown was temporary, though it changed a few weeks later when the organization cut more than 250 employees and announced that it would generally reorient the business to commercial products. As a result, most of the employees who were supposed to rework Send were fired, and the rest focused on developing commercial products, including Mozilla VPN, Firefox Monitor and Firefox Private Network.
“For the same reasons, the Firefox Notes service, which was a tool for saving and synchronizing encrypted notes, will be closed”, – writes ZDNet.
Notes was available for syncing across Firefox browsers, as a standalone Android app and as a browser extension.
The developers have announced that they will be phasing out the Notes Android app and sync service at the end of October 2020. The browser add-on (talking about existing installations) will continue to work for now, and the ability to export all notes will be active, but Mozilla will no longer support it, and will not allow new installations.