Friday, October 12, 2007

Detecting Firefox Extensions Without Javascript

ascii recently posted a piece on detecting whether Javascript execution is disabled due to it being disabled through Firefox or through NoScript, by abusing NoScript's redirection code here:

Which got me thinking about how else we could determine this - and though I haven't come up with that, I've come up with a method to detect Firefox extensions without Javascript. It may not work on all extensions, but it works with NoScript, and should work with any extension which has a CSS file in chrome with a single valid definition.

If we take a look at how Firefox resolves conflicts between duplicate definitions for the same class (and probably for the same id) then we notice that Firefox simply uses the latter definition.

Knowing this we can construct a page which looks like this:

  .noscript-error {
    background-image: url(no.php)
  @import url(chrome://noscript/skin/browser.css);
  <div class="noscript-error">If noscript is NOT installed (and enabled as an extension) then Firefox will make a request for no.php, otherwise it won't.</div>

Whereby we simply have to have no.php set something in the session to say that the user does not have NoScript installed.

Note: Thanks to thornmaker for pointing out that no.php will also be requested by other browsers, so you probably want to do this only after you have determined the browser being used.

Also, ascii/sirdarckcat came up with another method for detecting when NoScript is installed, which does positive detection (i.e. youget a response when it is installed, rather than this negative detection), but I'll let them write about that.