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Mozilla blocks Firefox-breaking Skype toolbar

Given 'soft' barred treatment after calamitous crashes

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Mozilla has blocked a Skype toolbar add-on for its Firefox browser, after blaming the extension for causing 40,000 crashes last week.

The open source outfit said it vastly slowed down webpage-loading times.

The crash-prone add-on downed Firefox 3.6.13 - which is the current stable version of the browser - far too much, grumbled Mozilla.

"Additionally, depending on the version of the Skype Toolbar you’re using, the methods it uses to detect and re-render phone numbers can make DOM [document object model] manipulation up to 300 times slower, which drastically affects the page rendering times of a large percentage of web content served today (plain English: to the user, it appears that Firefox is slow loading web pages)," it said.

"We believe that both of these items constitute a major, user-facing issue, and meet our established criteria for blocklisting an add-on."

Mozilla said that the Skype toolbar's entry on its barred list would be a "soft block", which means a user can re-enable the disabled-by-default extension if they so wish.

The Skype application will continue to work fine in Firefox, noted Mozilla.

But the Skype toolbar add-on will imminently be thrown onto the blocklist pile.

"We’ve recently established contact with the Skype Toolbar team, and will work with them to identify the issues that should be corrected, and will lift the soft block on future versions that address those issues," said Mozilla. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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