Mozilla 'Plug-n-Hack' project aims for tighter security tool integration
The project aims to solve hiccups in how security tools work with web browsers
IDG News Service - Mozilla is developing a protocol that aims to let security tools and Web browsers work better together.
Configuring a web browser to work with a security tool involves writing platform and browser-specific extensions, a non-trivial process that discourages people with less experience, wrote Simon Bennetts, a security automation engineer with Mozilla, on Thursday.
The proposed standard, called "Plug-n-Hack," will define how security extensions can work with a browser in a more usable way, Bennetts wrote. PnH will allow the security tool to "declare the functionality that they support which is suitable for invoking directly from the browser."
Under the current arrangement, if a user wants to, for example, intercept HTTPS traffic, a user must configure proxy connections through the tool and browser correctly and import the tool's SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate, Bennetts wrote.
"If any of these steps are carried out incorrectly then the browser will typically fail to connect to any website -- debugging such problems can be frustrating and time-consuming," Bennetts wrote.
Users may also have to switch often between the tool and their browser to intercept an HTTPS request.
"PnH allows security tools to declare the functionality that they support which is suitable for invoking directly from the browser," Bennets wrote. "A browser that supports PnH can then allow the user to invoke such functionality without having to switch to and from the tool."
The PnH protocol is being designed to be browser and tool independent. The implementation for Firefox has been released under the Mozilla Public License 2.0 and can be incorporated into commercial products for free, Bennetts wrote.
The next phase of the project is being planned, but it is expected it will allow browsers to "advertise their capabilities to security tools," he wrote.
"This will allow the tools to obtain information directly from the browser, and even use the browser as an extension of the tool," Bennetts wrote.
Send news tips and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow me on Twitter: @jeremy_kirk
- Social Media Education: The New Edge for Success Failure to train for social media will cost your business money. A recent report showed how digitally prepared companies can unlock up to...
- Social Media in Technology: A Unified Strategy for Success Find out how social media is sparking a new era of customer and industry-understanding in technology enterprises and how industry leaders are overcoming...
- How Network Connections Drive Web Application Performance Users around the globe, on all sorts of devices, expect Web applications to function as seamlessly as desktop applications. This paper discusses the...
- SANS: Next-Generation Datacenters = Next-Generation Security This whitepaper takes a look at some new technology that may allow security teams to implement more flexible and capable protection models in...
- Is SQL Server AlwaysOn really as powerful? Tips and Tricks from the field With the introduction of AlwaysOn, Windows Clustering Services is now more critical than ever.
- What Does it Take to Deliver a Superior Customer Experience? The Two Top-Rated Online Retailers, B&H Photo and Crutchfield Electronics, Share Their Secrets Discuss practical CX tools and service methods such as contact center agents and the use of realtime speech analytics to help contact center... All Internet White Papers | Webcasts
Our new bimonthly Internet of Things newsletter helps you keep pace with the rapidly evolving technologies, trends and developments related to the IoT. Subscribe now and stay up to date!