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Heads up - Windows, Firefox and stealth addons.

 
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RedWillow
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Joined: Thu May 29, 2008 2:05 pm
Posts: 719

PostPosted: Sun May 31, 2009 9:43 pm    Post subject: Heads up - Windows, Firefox and stealth addons. Reply with quote

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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wyliecoyoteuk
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Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2005 11:41 pm
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Location: Birmingham, UK

PostPosted: Sun May 31, 2009 10:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I cannot agree more.
I just disable it.
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ollie
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Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2005 12:26 pm
Posts: 2749
Location: Bathurst NSW Australia

PostPosted: Mon Jun 01, 2009 1:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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 Evil ).
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ethernet
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Joined: Sat Oct 07, 2006 9:00 pm
Posts: 170
Location: Ireland

PostPosted: Mon Jun 01, 2009 9:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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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Captain_Tux
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Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2005 11:36 am
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 01, 2009 10:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

But seriously, is anyone really surprised with Redmond's shaddy deeds?
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RedWillow
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 01, 2009 11:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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. Confused
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Rhakios
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 01, 2009 11:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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. Wink
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Captain_Tux
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 01, 2009 11:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
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. Wink


Thanks for the spell check, Officer Rhakios Wink
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Marrea
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Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2005 10:32 pm
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Location: Chilterns, West Hertfordshire

PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2009 3:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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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LoL
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Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2008 3:42 pm
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2009 12:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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. Confused


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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lok1950
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Joined: Tue May 31, 2005 6:31 am
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Location: Ottawa

PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2009 2:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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

Enjoy the Choice Smile
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