If you’re a Firefox user, you may have noticed things weren’t quite working right when you booted up your browser this morning.
It appears that Firefox-maker Mozilla allowed an intermediate signing certificate to expire. Since Firefox is strict about signed certificates for extensions — the browser doesn’t allow unsigned extensions at all — almost every browser extension was disabled because of the expired certificate.
Further, the issue blocks the installation of new extensions as they also don’t have the required certificate.
When I started up Firefox, a yellow banner appeared under the bookmarks bar noting that “one or more installed add-ons cannot be verified and have been disabled.”
Additionally, when I went into the extension menu, I found that the issue disabled all my extensions — including ones from Mozilla.
Mozilla is working on a fix
Thankfully, Mozilla is aware of the problem and working on a fix. According to a Mozilla forum post, there’s a solution already available, but only through Firefox’s ‘Studies’ system, which allows Mozilla to push change directly to your browser without an update. Typically Mozilla uses this to test new features on users who opt in. In this case, it provided an avenue to quickly apply the fix.
To enable Studies, go into Firefox Preferences, click Privacy & Security, then scroll to the bottom. Under the ‘Firefox Data Collections and Use’ section should be a checkbox for ‘Allow Firefox to install and run studies.’ Enable it, and Firefox should install two studies that fix the certificate issue. You can disable Studies again after.
Alternatively, if you use Firefox Nightly, you can disable the browser’s requirement for signed extensions by typing ‘about:config’ in the address bar, then searching for the ‘xpinstall.signatures.required’ preference and changing it to false. Your extensions should work again after restarting the browser.
Finally, Mozilla says it’s working on a general fix for the certificate issue that doesn’t require Studies to work. Keep an eye on the forum for updates about the problem.