05.31.09

Gemini version available ♊︎

Microsoft Accused of “Sabotaging Firefox”

Posted in Microsoft, Windows at 2:24 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Zoo park

Summary: Microsoft changes Mozilla’s software without permission from the users and the aim is self promotion

THE FIRST self-explanatory report is this one:

Microsoft Sabotaging Firefox With Sneaky .NET Updates?

Sabotage may be a strong choice of word, but it immediately came to mind with the news of Microsoft’s latest .NET update.

The Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 Service Pack 1, unleashed in February, forces an undisclosed Firefox extension on Windows users, called “Microsoft .NET Framework Assistant 1.0″, and it does so without asking the users permission.

It is not an unusual development and this was also entered into Slashdot and into Stefano Forenza’s Web site.

The Washington Post used much gentler words (Melinda Gates is in charge, so it’s wise to be cautious) and so did this Web site.

A routine security update for a Microsoft Windows component installed on tens of millions of computers has quietly installed an extra add-on for an untold number of users surfing the Web with Mozilla’s Firefox Web browser.

 

Here at Techgeist, we do not like it when software does stuff to other software without asking. The problems are made that much worse when it’s the operating system doing the dirty work. So we are all pretty angry at Microsoft right now. As part of a service pack for the .Net Framework, which they rolled out as a critical update via Windows Update, Microsoft also installed the “.Net Framework Assistant” add-on onto users’ Firefox installations.

The story in short: Microsoft uses its Windows Update franchise (monopoly) for unwanted/uninvited intrusion that’s justified by a EULA people cannot refuse. Moreover, Microsoft shoves its software down people’s throats to advance its business by interfering with rival software.

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

20 Comments

  1. the11thplague said,

    May 31, 2009 at 3:03 pm

    Gravatar

    Stefano Forenza’s Web site… nice site, I didn’t knew about it before!
    Thanks for the tip.

  2. pcolon said,

    May 31, 2009 at 3:33 pm

    Gravatar

    Was the Mozilla team contacted beforehand in reference to the Firefox modification?

    Updates, including security patches, do not occur without asking in the GNU/Linux distros I use. These forced modifications to the os and extended applications is reason enough for discontinuing the use of microsoft products and services altogether.

  3. Roy Schestowitz said,

    May 31, 2009 at 3:34 pm

    Gravatar

    I haven’t come across any official response from Mozilla.

  4. aeshna23 said,

    June 1, 2009 at 8:36 am

    Gravatar

    I attempted to remove this addon from my installation of Vista 7 following the directions given at http://www.annoyances.org/exec/show/article08-600.

    I could not follow those directions. There appears to be no longer be any reference to this add-on in the firefox configuration options (steps 5-7). I hope I’m not being paranoid in wondering why Microsoft would make it so difficult to remove this add-on.

  5. Bogdan Bivolaru said,

    June 2, 2009 at 7:03 am

    Gravatar

    Well… where are the antitrust regulators?
    European Commision? US?

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Steve and Neelie might discuss this over dinner and candlelight.

  6. suresh said,

    June 2, 2009 at 8:55 am

    Gravatar

    Mozilla should take a leaf out of GNU Icecat’s book which is more concerned about privacy and spyware.

  7. Joe said,

    June 2, 2009 at 5:35 pm

    Gravatar

    You can follow http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx/kb/963707

    to remove it.

    However, unlike Microsoft, AVG will ask you if you want to add their extension to FF. Kinda niffty how they did it in the first place.

    Btw, I had some malware/payware that infected IE and FF but not Chrome. Perhaps you should keep that just in case and/or a copy of FF in portable app guise.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    I’d love to try Chrome at some stage.

    Is there any response from Mozilla?

  8. alex said,

    June 3, 2009 at 7:59 am

    Gravatar

    I wish I had time to look at this in detail as it starts to slip toward copyright infringing to me.

  9. Juan Pablo Angamarca said,

    June 5, 2009 at 3:29 pm

    Gravatar

    So typical of Microsoft… that’s got so stop!

  10. PaulGaskin said,

    June 6, 2009 at 12:54 pm

    Gravatar

    This is really outrageous. They’ve changed the way millions of Firefox installations on Windows will function without asking permission, nor notifying users.

    This .net extension will undoubtably cause pop-ups, crashes and become a security problem. This was a desperate and probably illegal act by Microsoft.

    They should face the full force of the law for compromising people’s computers and illegally interfering with a business competitor.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    I was not able to find any response from Mozilla. Is there such a thing? Is Mozilla too shy to complain? It’s already part of the Opera-led motion in Europe (with ECIS IIRC).

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    I’ve finally found a response from Mozilla:

    dealing with the .NET ClickOnce add-on
    http://shaver.off.net/diary/2009/06/02/dealing-with-the-net-clickonce-add-on/

    pcolon Reply:

    Thanks for the update. IMO Mozilla has tested this fix as much as possible since there is a vested interest. But that doesn’t rule out the fact that microsoft can modify, without user consent, a third party application running in a windows environment.

    Many people elected to use Firefox instead of IE thinking Mozilla and the owner of the computing device would be the only party to modify Firefox’s behaviour.

    Bogdan Bivolaru Reply:

    Let me get this straight:
    I need to install patch #2 just to remove something that shouldn’t be installed in patch #1 (without users’ consent)…
    That doesn’t sound like easy removal (as any patch from MS can break my system in lots of unexpected ways) and doesn’t sound like they stopped pushing patch #1 down the users throat.
    This message is like ‘We keep doing crimes, but we help those injured as a result of our actions.’
    What about stopping the patch #1, isn’t it still pushed down the channel?

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    It’s malicious. Like AARD.

    Yuhong Bao Reply:

    “It’s malicious. Like AARD.”
    Well, MS’s intention with this add-on was to add .NET integration to Firefox so that .NET powered web apps can work. MS did not deliberately made it uninstallable, it was a side effect of how it was installed.
    In comparison, AARD was an attempt to prevent Windows 3.1 from running on DR-DOS (thus sabotaging it), there is no other way to explain it, period.

    Yuhong Bao Reply:

    “uninstallable”
    I mean non-uninstallable.
    “In comparison, AARD was an attempt to prevent Windows 3.1 from running on DR-DOS (thus sabotaging it), there is no other way to explain it, period. ”
    Not only that, it was clearly deliberately obfuscated code. Andrew Schulman disassembled it and says so.

  11. buck said,

    June 7, 2009 at 11:59 pm

    Gravatar

    Another reason not to use Windows.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, August 13, 2022

    IRC logs for Saturday, August 13, 2022



  2. Links 14/08/2022: Wine 7.15 and Haiku Activity Report

    Links for the day



  3. Official Copy Detailing Crimes of Microsoft's Serial Strangler, Who is Trying to Strangle GPL Enforcement/Compliance With GPL-Violating Copilot

    Violent sociopath Balabhadra Alex Graveley was arrested months ago (not that the media ever mentioned this!); He is Microsoft’s Chief Architect of GitHub Copilot and he came up with this idea, along with Nat Friedman (his “best friend”), which is clearly an attack on the GPL or other copyleft licences (Microsoft exercises control over GitHub to suppress such licences).



  4. Inside the Minds of Microsoft's Media Operatives — Part VI — Lessons Learned on Moral Depravity

    So-called 'journalists' who are in fact Microsoft spinners are a truly toxic bunch; they're allergic to truth and dangerous to truth-tellers; they're better off avoided and exposed, not informed (or shown hard evidence) because their covert allegiance means they're simply a trap rather than genuine agents of truth in reporting, thinly disguised as "objectivity" (to better parcel the lies Microsoft tells)



  5. Jim Zemlin Giving His Talks on an Apple Mac Again? (July 2022)

    Mr. “Big Shot” (no personal accomplishment but power broker for monopolies which privatise the Commons) can’t even deliver a keynote speech properly; Maybe he should try using Free software to make his presentations; the proprietary software he uses clearly isn’t reliable enough



  6. Links 13/08/2022: Steam Deck as KDE-Based PC, Arduino Projects

    Links for the day



  7. Links 13/08/2022: Sparky 6.4 and Many Raspberry Pi Projects

    Links for the day



  8. How We Envision Information Flow on the Internet (and Offline)

    We're no longer just a Web site; in fact, we encourage others to look beyond the Web, which despite the media not talking about it has rapidly waned (many sites have already turned into "apps")



  9. IRC Proceedings: Friday, August 12, 2022

    IRC logs for Friday, August 12, 2022



  10. IPFS at Techrights: The So-called 'Web3' Cargo Cult, Except With Some Practical Benefits

    For censorship resistance’s sake we’re increasing our embrace or adoption of IPFS; almost all our archives are there



  11. Techrights Site Migration to Alpine Linux Has Already Started

    We’ve begun upgrading our systems and tidying up the growing piles of material



  12. Microsoft Lost About 70% of Its Relative Share in the United States (for Operating Systems)

    When mobile platforms are taken into account Windows suddenly seems vanishingly small; Microsoft therefore started blocking GNU/Linux from even booting on new PCs



  13. The World Wide Web is Shrinking and Microsoft's Share in Web Servers is Down to Just 3%

    Microsoft’s presence on the server side is just a niche. No wonder there are many Microsoft layoffs (about 20,000 staff) and Microsoft divisions are being silently shut down.



  14. Warrant of Arrest for Microsoft’s Chief Architect of GitHub Copilot, Balabhadra Alex Graveley

    GitHub Copilot has been criticised for a lot of things, but blogs and the press never ever mention the "social justice" aspects of the thing (because they simply don't care)



  15. Links 12/08/2022: End of JingPad A1/JingOS, Russia Makes GNU/Linux Laptops

    Links for the day



  16. Links 12/08/2022: Kubuntu 22.04.1 LTS

    Links for the day



  17. Links 12/08/2022: PCLinuxOS Browser Refreshes

    Links for the day



  18. Links 12/08/2022: Apple Versus Telegram

    Links for the day



  19. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, August 11, 2022

    IRC logs for Thursday, August 11, 2022



  20. Inside the Minds of Microsoft's Media Operatives — Part V — In Deep Denial About One's Harm

    Source-burning Microsoft boosters, who vainly think of themselves as "journalists", respond to allegations of bias and dissemination of Microsoft falsehoods



  21. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part XXV — Microsoft Employs Serial Strangler as a Manager, Running GitHub Copilot in Spite of Arrest for Assault on Women

    Now there is another woman saying that she was strangled by Alex Garveley; we keep hearing more and more of this, so it’s a chronic behaviour and it doesn’t seem to bother Microsoft, which provides funds to protect the strangler



  22. Links 11/08/2022: PostgreSQL Beta 3 Releases

    Links for the day



  23. Windows Falling Below 15% in Cuba This Month

    Now that Microsoft starts locking down and shutting out GNU/Linux (preventing it from even booting!) while laying off about 10% its own workers it’s important to understand that Windows is basically in serious trouble



  24. Links 11/08/2022: Point Release of Ubuntu 22.04 and GNUnet 0.17.4

    Links for the day



  25. Links 11/08/2022: Qt Creator 8.0.1 and Microsoft's 3-Year Bug Door

    Links for the day



  26. Not Everyone Buys the Latest Laptop With Microsoft Windows (Bloatware)

    In Sudan, the share of Windows fell from 99.1% to just 8.77% (in a matter of 13.5 years); Microsoft, which is collapsing (layoffs and shutdowns), is just trying to block people from booting Linux on laptops/desktops



  27. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, August 10, 2022

    IRC logs for Wednesday, August 10, 2022



  28. Microsoft Death Spiral: Microsoft Fires 200 Employees “Working to Win Back Customers”

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  29. Microsoft Firing 10%, Not 1%, of Staff (Microsoft Lies to the Media, Figures One Order of Magnitude Off)

    Microsoft’s loyal servants in the media jumped onboard and leaped into “damage control” mode (PR as “media”) with this fictional “reality” where only a “small percentage” of staff gets laid off (those talking points come from Microsoft’s media operatives, who have lied for the company for well over a decade)



  30. [Meme] The Present Microsoft: Bailouts, Bailouts, Bailouts

    Microsoft’s media moles spread the lie that only “1%” of staff is affected by Microsoft layoffs (familiar old lie; they also spin that as a routine thing) while Microsoft staff is getting tight with ‘travel’ money


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts