MAFIAAFire Redirector

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MAFIAAFire Redirector
Developer(s) MAFIAA Links
Stable release 0.9d / February 13, 2012; 2 years ago (2012-02-13)
Written in JavaScript, XUL, HTML, CSS
Operating system Cross-platform
Type Mozilla extension
License LGPL 3.0
Website www.MAFIAAFire.com/

MAFIAAFire Redirector is an extension for the Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome web browsers. The software redirects links from domains that have been seized by governments to backup sites, in order to bypass the blocking. The software is open source.

MAFIAAFire offers domain owners a preemptive way to "safeguard" themselves from government-sponsored domain seizures. Domain owners can register their main site and their mirror site on the site MAFIAAFire.com before their domain is seized. If their domain gets seized, the add-on will automatically start redirecting to the mirror site. Theoretically, this means that site owners will have zero downtime if their main domain is seized and their users have the MAFIAAFire Redirector add-on.

In May 2011, the United States Department of Homeland Security has requested that Mozilla remove MAFIAAFire from its extensions directory, a request which Mozilla resisted.[1]

General information[edit]

MAFIAAFire works by downloading a list which contains the names of the "blocked" sites as well as the sites to redirect to. This list is downloaded every time the user's web browser starts up or every two days (although the user has the choice to force an update).

When a user types in a domain name from the list of blocked domains, the add-on recognizes this and automatically redirects the user to the secondary site. Since this happens before the browser connects to the DNS server, this renders any DNS blocks useless.

Although the add-on checks for which sites are entered into the address bar every time (as it needs to check if that site is on its block list), it does not log these requests nor send these requests to any central server. In other words: it does not track the user.

The source code has been released for both the Chrome and Firefox versions as open-source software for people to confirm all of MAFIAAFire's claims as well as improve the code or use the code in their own projects.

MAFIAAFire can be classified as donationware as its authors claim to use any and all donations to further the project. The Firefox version was released first and the Chrome version was released after $90 was donated.[2]

Version update to 0.6b from 0.4b[edit]

The MAAFIAAFire Redirector was updated from version 0.4b to version 0.6b on May 25, 2011, and automatic updates started rolling out from the Mozilla site on the same date.

In light of concerns raised by its users, the MAFIAAFire Redirector's code was doubled to put in all the features its user base requested.

High on the list was the fact that in the older version, if any of the XML serving servers were compromised the redirector could be used to redirect from a popular domain (like YouTube.com) to a malware site without the user knowing.

This was fixed by a better way of alerting the user when the blocklist gets updated (new domains pop up in a notification box), a clickable notification box so the users know at all times which domains are on the direction list, this same list is also accessible via the Redirector's Options and storage of the list on the users computers rather than downloading a fresh list on every restart.

Code to access different settings was added into the plugin's "options" button. Options can be accessed by going to Firefox->Addons->MAFIAAFire Redirector->Options.

Version 0.6b also added more mirror sites to serve the XML blocklists.

A change in their privacy policy so nothing is logged.

In version 0.4b, there was code to redirect to the MAFIAAFire Redirector's website on every 15 uses, that code has now been removed.

Version 0.6b also introduces a forum, where version update/what's new pages will be posted and discussed. Users can start their own discussions with relation to the plugins as well.[3]

Criticism[edit]

MAFIAAFire Redirector downloads the list of blocked sites from 3 domains (four URLs). Before version 0.6b came out, a user needed to trust all the four urls, because any of these domains can at any time change; e.g. from Facebook.com to a malicious website. This was fixed to show a more prominent warning in 0.6b.

MAFIAAFire Redirector users couldn't actually see the list of "blocked sites" in version 0.4b. Instead, MAFIAAFire Redirector users needed to trust the MAFIAAFire Redirector webpage. This was changed in 0.6b so the blocklist was easily accessible. Just after MAFIAAFire Redirector was released, the addon redirected atdhe.net to atdhenet.tv, but this wasn't shown on the official list.[citation needed][4]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]