Saturday, June 20, 2015

Browsers, Browsers, Browsers!

I’ve been all over the place with web browsers lately.

Fussing at (and tweaking) Mozilla/Firefox

Base Jumping with Vivaldi snapshots

I continue to be impressed with where Vivaldi is going on their project.

And Polishing up the Chrome

Discovery of uBlock Origin was a super-duper find for me a few weeks ago.

I have always used Adblock Plus in my “public release” Firefox and Chromium browsers, though I did not in the Developer Mozilla build. I also layered in Ad Muncher at the system level.

So when I learned about uBlock I thought I would give it a try. I liked it so much that I’ve installed it in all my Mozilla browser builds and in my Chromium browser as well. Top shelf.

I also run NoScript in my Mozilla browsers, but didn’t in Chromium. Never thought I could find a product that could be its equal.

I’m a stanch defender of the use of ad/script-blocking tools in my web-browsers. Not so much against the ads (annoying as they can be) but rather as a perimeter defense against malvertizing and zero-day attack campaigns. I follow these attacks time after time in the security blogs where trusted domain sites get nailed with malicious ad injections. Kind of like wearing your seatbelt while driving. It’s not that I myself am planning on being in an accident each time I get into the car to drive, but it comes from having a keen awareness that accidents occur when you least expect them and the seatbelt will provide a level of safety when it happens. (Well, and Texas law requires us to wear them too.) Anyway, hopefully the analogy stands.

Other security experts agree.

It was reading the comments in that SANS post that I then found the NoScript counterpart for Chrome/Chromium browsers:

Using ScriptSafe has been a bit of a learning curve adventure for me. Use of NoScript and fine-tuning the settings is second-nature now to me. However since I never used one in my Chromium browser, I am still scratching my head when pages don’t load as expected until I remember (again) that I have ScriptSafe now installed and have to tweak the domain/page rules to allow it to load properly but strip out the “unwanted” stuff.

The interfaces for making those choices (allow/block/etc.) are very different but as easy as they both are to use, I’m gradually liking the interface for ScriptSafe just a touch more. It is more user-friendly.

Regardless, I’m thrilled to now have two more tools to lock down the gates of my web-browsers with; uBlock and ScriptSafe.

Meanwhile the battle rages on for new ways to get ads past the blockers and deliver (in some malicious cases) their 3vil payloads.


--Claus Valca


FF Extension Guru said...

"Mozilla needs to make up its mind" was very interesting read. I am surprised my co-author didn't post anything about that article. I agree with the author and in many ways I have seen Mozilla alienate their user base. Australias was a prime example and Mozilla is set to again (this time far worse) with add-on signing in Firefox 41. I thinking there is going to more Firefox users "defecting" and going over to Pale Moon unless Mozilla gets its act together and stop adding needless bloat into Firefox and forcing the users to accept this.

As far as Thunderbird 38.0.1 goes, I really didn't see that big of change. I did discuss it on my Thunderbird Blog (

Claus said...

@FF Guru - Any chance (or have you already) done a post about Pale Moon from the perspective of someone considering doing the Mozilla build to Pale Moon build jump? Pros/cons/extension-compatibility comparisons? Portable (USB) options? What would I gain, what might I miss?

I'd benefit from such a post. I've lightly followed Pale Moon over the years and touched on it in one or two posts early in its development but with the steady Mozilla march towards feature bake-ins, I'm more curious now than ever before.

Mea Culpa! I keep forgetting about the Thunderbird blog you also work on. I'm going right now to add it to my RSS feeds.

I'm going to cross-post this comment on your own follow up post.

Mozilla making Firefox bloated? - Firefox Extension Guru's Blog


--Claus V.