Firefox is testing an in-browser notification to alert users when they are visiting a site that has experienced a data breach.
This project is in collaboration with “Have I Been Pwned” the popular site that allows users to check their email to find out if their credentials have been stolen by hackers.
“Firefox is just looking at which sites have been been breached and we’re discussing other ways of using the data in the future,” Security researcher and creator of Have I Been Pwned Troy Hunt “They’ve got a broad reach and surfacing this info via Firefox is a great way to get more exposure around data breaches.”
While the ‘Breach Alerts’ feature will issue a warning about a website, it won’t actually prevent users from visiting it, only alert them. The extension currently includes an input field that users can use to subscribe an email address in order to receive an alert when they may be affected by a future breach. This feature has received some criticism as it collects users email data which poses an opportunity for a data breach of their own.
It has not yet been announced when the alerts will be baked into a standard Firefox release. Once the feature is rolled out en masse, however, it is poised to act as a constant reminder of hacks suffered by particular websites. Given their frequent occurrence, security breaches aren’t easy to keep track of, which is also where Firefox intends to come in.
In the latest in a long list of hacked websites, image-hosting website Imgur confirmed last week that the email addresses and passwords of 1.7 million user accounts had been stolen back in 2014.