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Mozilla Drops FTP Support Permanently with Firefox 88 Release

Last year, we talked about the fact that the Mozilla developers are dropping support for FTP, recognizing it as an insecure protocol.

Thus, users will no longer be able to upload files via FTP, as well as view the contents of FTP links and folders in the browser.

We do this for security reasons. FTP is an insecure protocol, and there is no reason to choose it to download resources instead of HTTPS. Also, a part of the FTP code is very old, unsafe and hard to maintain and we found a lot of security bugs in it in the past.said Michal Novotny, a software engineer at the Mozilla Corporation, the company behind the Firefox browser.

The refuse from FTP had to be postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, and so did the Google developers, who even managed to disable FTP in their browser, but then temporarily turned on support for the protocol back.

Google developers have been talking about ditching FTP since 2014, as very few browser users (0.1-0.2%) use the protocol. In 2018, the company first announced plans to officially move away from FTP, and Google engineers began implementing those plans last summer.

As such, it was planned that FTP support would be disabled by default with the release of Chrome 81, and after the release of version 82, all traces of the protocol would be permanently removed from the code.

But the fact is that many government agencies, including the National Institutes of Health, are still actively using FTP, and the developers decided not to create additional problems for them during the crisis.

Due to the current crisis, Google engineers decided to postpone the abandonment of FTP in a stable release, that is, the protocol will work again.said the Chrome developers.

Now Mozilla engineers have returned to the issue of dropping FTP support by default. In Firefox 88, released today, protocol support was disabled by default, and now Firefox, when faced with an FTP link, tries to pass it to an external application.

In the next release (Firefox 90), the developers are going to permanently remove all code related to the FTP implementation from the browser. Firefox for Android will also be affected by these changes. That is, in the end, users will need a separate client to work with FTP.

Vladimir Krasnogolovy

Vladimir is a technical specialist who loves giving qualified advices and tips on GridinSoft's products. He's available 24/7 to assist you in any question regarding internet security.

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