Microsoft Dirty Tricks

If you are like me you use the FireFox web browser for security reasons.  If so, here is something you really should be aware of.  In a recent Windows update, Microsoft quietly slipped in an add-on for FireFox that makes that browser much less secure.

This add-on allows a web site to quietly install software on your computer without your knowledge or permission!  Avoiding things like this is one of the main reasons people switched from IE to FireFox to begin with.  Worse, this add-on has its uninstall button DISABLED so it cannot be removed once discovered.

Here is a link to another article with more of the gory details.

This situation has caused a huge brouhaha on the net – enough that MS finally put out a patch to allow people to uninstall the add-on (knowledge base article: KB963707). Go to this URL to download the appropriate file (32 or 64 bit).   You may have to use IE 🙁 to download the file.

Once you run this update, the uninstall button for the .NET add-on will be enabled and you can get rid of this  nasty little bit of Microsoft junk in the usual way of uninstalling a FireFox add-on.

What I can’t understand is why Microsoft thinks it is justified in tampering with non-MS software.  Just one more reason not to trust them.

5 comments on “Microsoft Dirty Tricks

  1. GREAT info as always, Tom and I am in full agreement with your dislike of the dastardly deeds oozing from the house of Microsoft.

    Fully agree with Allan and were not for a multitude of everyday programs used exclusive to Windows, would do as he suggests and never look back.

    I did notice that although the uninstall was disabled (hissssssss), the option to be prompted before allowing remains active. Thought I’d engage that and see which sites would attempt to invoke the .net framework. So far none, but I rarely drift too far from my trusted in browsing places.

    BTW, there’s a great little Firefox add-on called WOT (Web Of Trust) I have been running for some time, which I now cannot do without.

  2. Hmmm. I installed the update and the install button is still disabled. Maybe I’ll check it after rebooting.

  3. Hi Scott. Don’t know what version of Windows you are using but on XP it worked fine. I did have to restart FireFox twice but then was able to click the uninstall button. On another machine (also XP) I tried the more complicated regedit way to remove it. That worked fine too but it’s a little more risky. That’s described in the KB963707 article linked to in the original post.

    Good luck.