Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 10th Jun 2010 00:08 UTC
Microsoft It's late here, but we're having election night, and the two leading parties are currently tied seat-wise, with a 10000-vote difference. Anyway, it gives me some time to cover a major problem: Microsoft is at it again. The company has pushed an update through Windows Update which silently, without user consent, installs two browser extensions - one for Internet Explorer, and one for Firefox.
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Loki_999
Member since:
2008-05-06

Doesn't this highlight why Windows itself is inherently insecure? Microsoft leave themselves these loopholes which allows them to silently install what they want (presumably after you have accepted the install in the first place) into non-MS apps. So is it any wonder when you happen to click on some innocent looking link/button on an innocent looking website it is possible for your computer to become completely p0wned?

Shouldn't there be a message saying... hold on, this application you have launched which has nothing to do with Firefox wants to bugger with Firefox... are you sure about this?

Reply Score: 2

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Doesn't this highlight why Windows itself is inherently insecure? Microsoft leave themselves these loopholes which allows them to silently install what they want (presumably after you have accepted the install in the first place) into non-MS apps. So is it any wonder when you happen to click on some innocent looking link/button on an innocent looking website it is possible for your computer to become completely p0wned? Shouldn't there be a message saying... hold on, this application you have launched which has nothing to do with Firefox wants to bugger with Firefox... are you sure about this?


If you are a Windows user, Microsoft owns the OS software on your machine. The EULA, which (Microsoft claim) you agreed to, claims this to be so, even though you paid for the machine and its software. Within that EULA, Microsoft reserve for themselves the right of control over the Windows OS software installed on your machine.

Windows users perhaps shouldn't be surprised when it transpires that Microsoft thinks it owns the entire machine as well as the OS software.

A related observation is that Windows users perhaps shouldn't be surprised when it transpires that Microsoft thinks it has a right to determine what you are and are not permitted to do on your machine.

An almost-unrelated observation: Apple appears of late to be thinking along similar lines for Macs and iDevices.

Edited 2010-06-10 05:58 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4

Lorin Member since:
2010-04-06

Firefox is not a Microsoft product so any argument on their behalf is frivolous.

Reply Parent Score: 4

WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

Shouldn't there be a message saying... hold on, this application you have launched which has nothing to do with Firefox wants to bugger with Firefox... are you sure about this?


I think the bigger question is... shouldn't Firefox be doing something about this? I mean, if some rogue 3rd party secretly installs an extension, shouldn't Firefox warn the user the next time the browser is started that "Hey, something is different than the last time I ran ..."

I'm not excusing Microsoft's behavior here, but I think the problem here is Firefox. If MS can install extensions without the user's permission, that leads me to believe that anything can.

And, if it can be done on Windows, I assume it can be done on Linux, OSX, or any other platform that Firefox runs on.

Edited 2010-06-10 20:05 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

boldingd Member since:
2009-02-19

As someone else said the last time this came up, "if the OS decides to mess with an applications, there's really not a lot that that application can do." This strikes me as a situation where, practically speaking, there's not really much that Firefox could have done to defend itself.

Anything more than they've already done, anyway: as long as you can still disable the thing through Firefox's plug-in manager, then you've kindof got your wish now.

Edited 2010-06-10 21:40 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3