How to create a more secure Firefox with FireCAT

Firefox's extension architecture is definitely something to admire, especially when it comes to security.

October 2nd, 2007 at 11:30am — Comments: (0) — By: Jonathan Danylko — Tags: Firefox

One of the greatest things about using Firefox is the extension architecture and the impact the Firefox community has in building brand new extensions every single day.

Along with the extension architecture, Firefox has security measures built in to assist users in detecting when trouble is afoot! Security has always been an issue with browsing on the Internet, whether it's Opera, Internet Explorer 6, 7, or even Firefox.

But what happens when you combine extensions with security? You get a fantastic set of tools that protects your computer from intruders, provides security auditing, network utilities, proxying utilities, and many more.

FireCAT is a framework map collection of the most useful security oriented extensions where the primary use is for security professionals and administrators. This set of Firefox extensions are tested and proven to assist in any kind of security troubleshooting, the updating of security news, and malware spoofing. And yes, it is FREE.

Unfortunately, there isn't a bundled download, but if you download the FireCAT HTML document, you'll find the entire hierarchy of extensions sorted by category with the correct link to each extension. So the ability to pick and choose an extension is there, but it's a manual process of installing each extension. There is also a FireCAT MindMap if you want to see a visual of the hierarchy. If you don't have a mind mapping utility, you can download the FireCAT PDF to get an idea of where everything is at.

Is this the future of Firefox extensions? Grouping extensions together to make one package? I talked about this briefly in my Fireday column regarding Gina's Better GMail extension. This is the second "package" I've seen, but it doesn't install everything at one time, but that may be the next step for this awesome set of tools.

FireCAT is a great framework that works with the extension architecture for setting up a more secure Firefox and using Firefox as a security or auditing tool.

UPDATE 7/2009: I guess this was the future of Firefox extensions. Its called Collections. :-)

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Jonathan Danylko is a freelance web architect and avid programmer who has been programming for over 20 years. He has developed various systems in numerous industries including e-commerce, biotechnology, real estate, health, insurance, and utility companies.

When asked what he likes doing in his spare time, he answers..."programming."

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