Heads up - Windows, Firefox and stealth addons.

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Heads up - Windows, Firefox and stealth addons.

Postby RedWillow » Sun May 31, 2009 8:43 pm

I just came across this. You might wish to know about it.

http://crankyoldnutcase.blogspot.com/

Apparently, if you run Firefox in Windows, a recent MS update installs a Firefox extension without telling you. I don't have the technical savvyness to know whether the vulnerability is as bad as they make out - perhaps someone might like to comment - but I do object to this sneaky way of mucking about with software I choose to install. I use Windows hardly at all, but when I do I prefer to use Firefox.

I can confirm that it was installed in Vista without my knowing about it, but I can find no trace of it in a completely up-to-date Windows 7, despite the Annoyances.org link mentioning 7. I can also confirm that the method described does seem to work. Or at least the .net addon no longer appears in the list of Firefox Addons.

But whatever else is going on under the surface of this here Windows Release Candidate psychedelic lightshow I hate to think. And with that I'll click the submit button and hastily reboot into Ubuntu.

Humph!
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Postby wyliecoyoteuk » Sun May 31, 2009 9:37 pm

I cannot agree more.
I just disable it.
The sig between the asterisks is so cool that only REALLY COOL people can even see it!

*************** ************
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Postby ollie » Mon Jun 01, 2009 12:17 am

I can confirm that it exists in Firefox 3.0.10 running on Windows 7 RC (VirtualBox VM) which is reported as "Windows NT 6.1;en-US;rv:1.9.0.19" with ".NET CLR 3.5.30729" by "About Firefox".

However, the "Disable" and "Uninstall" buttons were accessible and using the "Uninstall" button removed a lot more Microsoft plugins from Firefox.

Can't check Vista without a reboot, but this sounds like illegal hacking by Microsoft. I hope they are pursued through the courts in California (very large damages are usually awarded :twisted: ).
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Postby ethernet » Mon Jun 01, 2009 8:26 pm

It would appear there's an easy fix/uninstall utility en route. It's disappointing. It should have been a choice with a proper, accurate(!), easy-to-understand explanation.
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Postby Captain_Tux » Mon Jun 01, 2009 9:48 pm

But seriously, is anyone really surprised with Redmond's shaddy deeds?
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Postby RedWillow » Mon Jun 01, 2009 10:19 pm

What's interesting, reading some of the stuff that's been appearing around the internet today about this, is that not everyone is being hit by it. My Vista was infected, but not Windows 7, whereas ollie's Windows 7 was affected. I managed to get access to another Vista installation (with Firefox) today, and that wasn't affected - even though it was fully updated.

Hmmm. It seems that even when doing something wrong, MS can't get it right. Or something like that. :?
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Postby Rhakios » Mon Jun 01, 2009 10:24 pm

Captain_Tux wrote:But seriously, is anyone really surprised with Redmond's shaddy deeds?



Hadn't come across that word before, but it seems to fit.
It did occur to me that it might be derived form "shaddy" (see R Chetwynd-Hayes "The Monster Club"), but apparently not. ;)
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Postby Captain_Tux » Mon Jun 01, 2009 10:56 pm

Hadn't come across that word before, but it seems to fit.
It did occur to me that it might be derived form "shaddy" (see R Chetwynd-Hayes "The Monster Club"), but apparently not. ;)


Thanks for the spell check, Officer Rhakios ;)
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Postby Marrea » Tue Jun 02, 2009 2:56 pm

RedWillow wrote:What's interesting, reading some of the stuff that's been appearing around the internet today about this, is that not everyone is being hit by it.


Many thanks for drawing our attention to this unwelcome, unwanted intruder, of which I was blissfully unaware until I read your post. I found it on my Windows XP and immediately removed it using the instructions on the Annoyances.org site. (Unfortunately there was no Disable or Uninstall button in my Firefox.)

The Annoyances.org article also referred to the MobileMe application which Apple sneaked into Windows Control Panel with an iTunes update. I found that on my Vista and immediately removed that as well.

It's appalling the way this stuff is being dumped onto people's computers in this sly way. Even if it is going to cause no harm (and I assume MobileMe falls into this category), I object to applications I have no need for/interest in being installed like this.
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Postby LoL » Wed Jun 03, 2009 11:16 pm

RedWillow wrote:What's interesting, reading some of the stuff that's been appearing around the internet today about this, is that not everyone is being hit by it. [...] Hmmm. It seems that even when doing something wrong, MS can't get it right. Or something like that. :?


The practicallities of updating every Windows based machine in the World means that it cannot be universal - If everyone tried to download the same update simultaneously, the whole Internet, never mind Redmond's servers, would (almost certainly) break under the load

So, a random seed is generated and those lucky souls who are on the list of those due to be updated 'today' get it, whilst others have to wait a little longer for their malware infections to take root - But fear not ... you will have your turn at being infected eventually; just be patient
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Postby lok1950 » Thu Jun 04, 2009 1:25 am

Then there's this search thing called bing that also seems to be infecting ie6-7-8

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