Mozilla announced today that it plans to stop supporting side-borne expansion in Firefox, zdnet reported. Starting next year, Firefox users will not be able to install the extension by placing XPI extension files in a special folder in the user’s Firefox directory. This method, called sideload, was originally created to help developers of desktop applications. If you want to distribute the Firefox extension in a desktop application, the developer can configure the installer for that application to put the Firefox XPI extension file into the Firefox browser folder.
Firefox extension developers were able to use this method early on, and now Mozilla has announced plans to stop supporting side-loaded extensions because of security risks.
“Side-mounted extensions often cause problems for users because they do not have a clear choice to install them and cannot remove them from the add-on manager,” says Caitlin Neiman, community manager for Mozilla add-ons. He added, “This mechanism has been used in the past to install malware into Firefox.” “
Next, Mozilla plans to stop supporting this feature in two phases next year. The first will take place in February 2020 when Firefox 73 will be released, and by March 2020, with the release of Firefox 74, Mozilla plans to completely remove the sideload extension. At that point, Mozilla wants all side-mounted extensions to move in the user’s Add-ins section. In doing so, Mozilla also wants to help clean up some Firefox installations, which malware authors are secretly hiding behind users.
Of course, Mozilla also provides two ways to keep load extensions. The first is to install the extension from the official addons.mozilla.org (AMO) portal. The second relates to the “Install add-ons from files” option in the Add-ons section of Firefox.