Microsoft’s Shady Firefox Extension

A few month ago, Microsoft released a .NET Framework update that silently added an extension to Mozilla Firefox (If the user had Firefox installed).

In addition to installing the as advertised updates to the .NET Framework, it also installed the extension in Firefox without warning, and opened the independent browser up to some of the vulnerabilities of Internet Explorer.

This sucks.

I always encourage installing critical updates to software because they are necessary for security purposes. While .NET updates are not “critical,” they should not push add-ons for non-Microsoft software; especially without proper warning.


People who choose to use Firefox are generally not big fans of Microsoft’s browser for a reason.

The bright side is that the Microsoft add-on is incomparable with the Firefox 3.5b4, so if you want to rid your browser of Microsoft, upgrading to that version or just disabling the add-on are your best bets. Trying to delete the add-on requires editing your registry which isn’t worth the hassle in this particular case.

6 thoughts on “Microsoft’s Shady Firefox Extension

  1. I don’t think Firefox was particularly wrong in this instance. What makes me uneasy is Microsoft issuing updates that impact other company’s software.

    However, Mozilla probably should have issued a statement making their users aware of the implications, risks, and benefits of the Microsoft add-on.

  2. I’m confused man. I thought Firefox controls their own Add-ons.
    Do you mean to say that isn’t the case? BTW, FF won’t appear on my desktop since last night.

  3. Firefox is open-source and they do not exercise control over the ad-ons that people make for the browser. I’m fairly certain that anyone can make a Firefox ad-on (If I’m wrong about this, please correct me).

    In this particular case, Microsoft pushed a Firefox ad-on through one of their updates.

  4. Then Firefox shouldn’t claim to be safe or secured.
    Then to make it worse, MS ‘pushed’ one of their own! Typical MS strongarm tactics.
    p.s. I wonder why your comment font is in microprint. Might discourage other comments.

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