Feeds

Firefox users flip out over sneak MS add-on

Silent, but deadly annoying

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

Firefox fans are up in arms after a recent Microsoft software update silently installed a Firefox extension that is difficult to remove.

Users agreeing to install a service pack for the .NET Framework (NET Framework 3.5 Service Pack 1) through Windows update were also pushed a Firefox add-on that is potentially difficult to remove once applied. This add-on - Microsoft .NET Framework Assistant - enables .NET apps to be installed with one click.

Annoyances.org, a Windows gripes site, reports that the update slaps IE-style behaviour on Firefox users, specifically the "ability for Web sites to easily and quietly install software on your PC".

Many Mozilla users might take umbrage to that in principle, even though there's no evidence of attacks in practice; but simply uninstalling early versions of the unwanted extra via Firefox's handy Add-ons interface is not possible because the uninstall button is disabled. This is because the update installs itself for all users of a machine, while the Firefox GUI only manages add-ons for a single profile at a time.

Users have to open up the bonnet of their PC and change settings in RegEdit to remove the potentially unwanted add-on.

Microsoft updated the extension so that it worked on a per-user basis through an update to the Microsoft .NET Framework Assistant issued last month. This software tweak makes the add-on easier to remove.

The original update came out in February, but the behaviour passed the media by before it was picked up in stories by the Washington Post (here), Slashdot and elsewhere over the weekend.

That such tomfoolery could have lain largely unnoticed for so long raises question about whether other Microsoft updates of the past might also have fiddled around with Firefox settings. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
One HUNDRED FAMOUS LADIES exposed NUDE online
Celebrity women victimised as Apple iCloud accounts reportedly popped
Rubbish WPS config sees WiFi router keys popped in seconds
Another day, another way in to your home router
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
NZ Justice Minister scalped as hacker leaks emails
Grab your popcorn: Subterfuge and slur disrupts election run up
HP: NORKS' cyber spying efforts actually a credible cyberthreat
'Sophisticated' spies, DIY tech and a TROLL ARMY – report
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
New Snowden leak: How NSA shared 850-billion-plus metadata records
'Federated search' spaffed info all over Five Eyes chums
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?