Did Microsoft Install A Firefox Extension On Your System?

There is an interesting article over at the The Washington Post in which a writer claims that Microsoft silently placed a Firefox extension on our systems. The article states that the extension was installed during what was called a service pack to update Microsoft.Net framework. It also states the following information:

The service pack for the .NET Framework, like other updates, was pushed out to users through the Windows Update Web site. A number of readers had never heard of this platform before Windows Update started offering the service pack for it, and many of you wanted to know whether it was okay to go ahead and install this thing. Having earlier checked to see whether the service pack had caused any widespread problems or interfered with third-party programs — and not finding any that warranted waving readers away from this update — I told readers not to worry and to go ahead and install it.

I’m here to report a small side effect from installing this service pack that I was not aware of until just a few days ago: Apparently, the .NET update automatically installs its own Firefox add-on that is difficult — if not dangerous — to remove, once installed.

In the article it also states that over at Annoynaces.org they claim that this extension adds an unnecessary vulnerability to Windows users. But there is something I don’t understand about this piece. I use both Firefox and .net including SP1 fix the writer mentions, yet I have no such extension on my system.

So my question to all of you Firefox users is this. Do you have this extension installed on your computer? Please let us know of you have it or not.

Comments welcome.

The Washington Post story is here.

Article Written by

I have been writing for Lockergnome for eight years.

  • http://rss-farm.com diggi

    Yeah, I have this extension too. I think that’s ok.

    > they claim that this extension adds an unnecessary vulnerability to Windows users

    They don’t know what this extension is and what is for. Of course, it may contains bugs, but it’s very usefull for .NET coder and users.

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  • Michael Henley

    I have it installed on my Firefox. You can disable it, seemingly, but the uninstall is disabled. Things like this is why people really get p*$$ed at MS. I have a huge investment in MS based software, but it is getting more and more likely that my next OS will be Linux, in spite of the pain of converting and replacing.

  • etim

    I think you wanted to link to http://www.annoyances.org/

    Please check your links before posting.

  • http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/ Ron Schenone

    Actually I didn’t even want a link. The software on WP must of did it on its own. I did create a link as suggested.

  • http://wp3.lockergnome.com/shadowmyth/ ShadowMyth

    Yes, it is installed on my Vista….

  • Ryan Farmer

    Yes, I had that extension and the Windows Presentation Foundation plug in as well right after the .Net 3.5 SP1 installer got done, I yanked them out by deleting them and fixing Microsoft’s sabotage of the Firefox useragent.

    Reall Microsoft has sank to a new low, using spyware installation methods to trojan in their crapware.

    I was fairly angry to find out that they were installing software without my consent and opening up my browser to new security problems that until now have been Internet Explorer-specific.

  • Ronin Vladiamhe

    What does Mozilla say about this?

  • Ryan Farmer

    @Ronin: I don’t think Mozilla has said anything, and while I can’t speak for them, I’d probably have my lawyers getting ready to sue Microsoft seeking to force them to remove this and pay damages.

  • C. Huffmon

    I noticed this last friday and just now had time to check for information as to what was going on, yes it’s on my computer after autoupdates with out knowing it was being put on the computer.