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Firekeeper Frequently Asked Questions
- What is Firekeeper?
- What Firekeeper is not?
- Why Firekeeper approach is useful?
- How Firekeeper works?
- Are there any other applications for Firekeeper?
- What is the difference between Firekeeper and SiteAdvisor?
- How default rules file is updated?
- Why default rules file can't be edited?
- Where is the Mac version?
- What does an alpha release mean?
- 'Firekeeper load failed' bug
- How to remove Firekeeper?
Firekeeper is an Intrusion Detection and Prevention System integrated within Firefox. Its main goal is to detect and inform the user about malicious sites that are trying to use some known browsers vulnerabilities to get control over the user's machine or to do some other suspicious action.
Firekeeper is not an enhancement of Firefox patch process. Although, it can be useful to protect the browser against attacks utilising some newly found, not yet fixed browser bugs, but it is not its main and most useful application.
Today's common approach to protect browsers is just to patch them as soon as possible when new bug is found. When the user visits a malicious site she usually never learns about it, information about suspicious action is lost. In contrast, Firekeeper approach is to inform the user about every recognisable attack attempt even when user's browser is not vulnerable to this particular attack. It is important, because next time user visits the same malicious site, it can use different attack and this time user's system can be vulnerable to it. With Firekeeper user can block the site first time she visits it and never come back to it again.
Firekeeper is actively scanning all the data incoming to the browser and alerts the user or blocks automatically suspicious content. To describe suspicious content Firekeeper uses flexible rules.
It can be also used as a very efficient content filter.
Firekeeper doesn't collect and send any user data. In particular, it doesn't check visited URLs against any online data base. Only standard Firefox update mechanism is used to check out if new version of Firekeeper is available. User can configure Firekeeper to download rules from remote locations. Remote rules are downloaded each time Firefox is started and on user request ([Reload all files] in Preference window). No private information is send with a download request.
SiteAdvisor is a proprietary project developed by McAfee company. It checks out every visited link against central, online database and displays information about malicious sites. SiteAdvisor is continuously scanning the Internet using an automatic search engine. It has a very large data base of sites but still a lot of places are not scanned. Another problem is that information about sites that it provides can be obsolete. It is impossible to detect exploits just after they are discovered in this way, because it requires rescanning of every site again. And last but not least, SiteAdvisor evaluates a site that is presented to its robot and unfortunately, it can be different that one presented to the user. It is rather possible to detect SiteAdvisor's robot and to present a different content to it than to regular users. In contrast Firekeeper provides live scanning of a content that is delivered to the user. It can scan every web page user visits, and it can use new rule to detect malicious sites immediately after it is written. Firekeeper is created mainly to detect exploits and SiteAdvisor to detect sites with malware.
This file is updated every time new version of Firekeeper is available. This mechanism may be enhanced in the future.
Because this file is updated when new version of Firekeeper is downloaded all changes would be lost.
Mac version wont be available in the nearest future. Lack of hardware to make it :)
From Wikipedia: "The alpha version of a product still awaits full debugging or full implementation of all its functionality but satisfies a majority of the software requirements. It often lacks features promised in the final release but demonstrates the feasibility and basic structure of the software."
After installation Firekeeper label is red and preference window displays message "Firekeeper load failed component @firekeeper.mozdev.org/firekeeper not registered ...". What happened?
This is the most common problem people are having with current Firekeeper alpha release. It means that Firekeeper library couldn't be successfully loaded because some library dependencies weren't fulfilled on the user's system. Upcoming Firekeeper releases should run on wider variety of systems.
The same way you remove every other extension: Go to [Tools] menu, select menu item [Extensions], select [Firekeeper] and click uninstall. If, for some reason, you can't start Firefox try to run it with all extensions disabled: 'firefox -safe-mode'.