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Password Text Export Feature Coming To Firefox

By June 12, 2020May 11th, 2022Blog, Technology News

Mozilla’s Firefox browser, like most modern browsers, has a built-in password management feature that allows you to save passwords for sites you log into on a regular basis. Since the browser stores the information, that’s one less thing you have to remember. That allows you the convenience of one click access to the sites you use frequently, unless you’ve enabled two-factor authentication (and you should, if you haven’t already!).

Recently, the folks at Mozilla have announced a change that’s coming soon. Depending on who you are, the newly announced feature can be seen as a very good, or a very bad thing.

Firefox 79, the Nightly build, allows users to export saved credentials as plain text into a CSV file.

On the surface of it, that’s very good news. That’s because if you use multiple devices and want to create a way to manage your passwords across them and across multiple platforms, having a handy text-based file is a good option that adds both value and convenience.

It is not without risk, however. Consider what could easily happen if someone compromises your machine. It would be a trivial matter for them to convert all of your stored passwords to plain text, then exfiltrate the CSV and gain access to everything you touch. That’s grim.

To at least partially counter this, the Firefox development team has built in a requirement that users must enter their Windows password before the export process completes. Apple and Android users are out of luck on this front.

On balance, this feels like a move in the wrong direction. While it’s certainly true that the new feature offers some advantages, it seems that the risks far outweigh those. If you use Firefox, this might be a reason to consider migrating to a different browser, especially if you use an OS other than Windows 10.

Jason Manteiga

Jason J. Manteiga, Vice President of Olmec Systems, has been part of the company for over the past 20 years. He believes that having a great work environment and supportive team, is the ultimate key to success. Since being in the IT realm for over 25 years, Jason, along with Olmec Systems, has been on the Inc. 5000 “List of America’s Fastest Growing Private Companies” and Channel Futures MSP 501 “Top Managed Service Providers in North America,” along with other awards and nominations. Jason earned his Bachelor Degree in Information Systems from the New Jersey Institute of Technology. He also holds certifications in Microsoft MCSE, VMWare VCP, and Cisco CCNA. In his spare time, Jason is a contributor for The Center for Social & Legal Research (Privacy Exchange) and a member of the Morris County Chamber of Commerce. His hobbies include cycling and kayaking. He currently lives in New Jersey with his wife, two daughters and son.