Firefox matches Chrome browser extension changes in the name of security

(Image credit: Mozilla)

Two years after Google proposed (opens in new tab) and adopted changes to its web browser (opens in new tab) extension framework, Firefox (opens in new tab) is ready to follow suit, but with one exception.

Collectively known as Manifest v3, the changes addressed many of the security issues with the browser’s existing framework, which allowed extensions (opens in new tab) to undo the browser's security model and grab sensitive data.  

While Manifest v3 created incompatibilities between Chrome and Firefox, the latter decided to wait and watch the evolution of the framework before adopting it. 

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“As we previously wrote, we want to maintain a high degree of compatibility to support cross-browser development. We will introduce Manifest v3 support for Firefox extensions,” Firefox developers shared in a blog post (opens in new tab).


Firefox developers were quick to add that while they’ll adopt Manifest v3, their implementation will diverge from Chrome’s implementation in certain areas where Firefox believes its “values point to a different solution.”

When it introduced Manifest v3 in 2019, Google claimed it was one of the biggest shifts in the extensions platform and offered extensions using it enhanced security, privacy, and performance.

However, Manifest v3 deprecated certain capabilities of the WebRequestAPI that ad-blocking extensions like uBlock Origin and Ghostery rely on to function. 

In their plans to implement Manifest v3, developers of the popular open source (opens in new tab) web browser has shared that after discussions with several content blocking extension developers, they have decided to retain support for the blocking capabilities of WebRequestAPI along with Google’s replacement, called decalarativeNetRequest (DNR).

“We will support blocking webRequest until there’s a better solution which covers all use cases we consider important, since DNR as currently implemented by Chrome does not yet meet the needs of extension developers,” wrote Firefox.

Via The Register (opens in new tab)

Mayank Sharma

With almost two decades of writing and reporting on Linux, Mayank Sharma would like everyone to think he’s TechRadar Pro’s expert on the topic. Of course, he’s just as interested in other computing topics, particularly cybersecurity, cloud, containers, and coding.