Mozilla protests against spyware under the guise of Firefox

    The fake Firefox fox

    Mozilla has formally protested the use of the Firefox name to spy on users. Gamma International, a

    well-known FinFisher (FinSpy) spyware, is used by governments in at least 36 countries to monitor citizens through mobile phones and PCs. A recent Citizen Lab report revealed that this software is distributed under the guise of a Firefox browser.

    Left: FinSpy program, right: Firefox 14.0.1

    Mozilla’s organization is categorically against using its good name for such “vile” purposes. According to user surveys, Mozilla receivedMost Trusted Internet Company for Privacy in 2012. “We cannot accept the fact that a software company uses our name to mask online surveillance tools that can be used - and in some cases actually used - by Gamma customers to violate human rights and online privacy,” writes Alex Fowler who is responsible for politics and privacy at Mozilla.

    From a legal point of view, Gamma International violates the law in several points.

    1. Malicious program from Gamma International is installed in a file called “Firefox.exe” and demonstrates various browser properties, including version number, copyright and trademark, supposedly belonging to “Firefox and Mozilla Developers” (see screenshot above). Thus, it creates the false impression that Mozilla is related to this program.

    2. For experts who will study spyware, it contains the verbatim manifest of Firefox.

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