Author Topic: Microsoft stealthily installs a Firefox add-on that cannot easily be uninstalled  (Read 17777 times)

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Offline RejZoR

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I've just disabled this extension long ag as i don't need it.
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Offline polonus

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Hi malware fighters,

Good if you feel secure disabling. But here a message from the other end of the scale - opinion of a .NET developer himself and also user of Fx:
Quote
Re: MS sneaks in a Fx add-on at machine level!

Interesting, I develop in .NET and it has NEVER installed anything into my Fx, globally or otherwise. It might be that people are not paying attention to what they are installing and giving it permission to install. MS is alot of things but they will always only install as part of some user initiated install. They may not always make individual components exposed to be unchecked but they do always install as part of a bigger user initiated install, so not illegal, annoying perhaps, not illegal. Especially that I use .NET extensively and I have NEVER had anything installed into my Fx, ever. I think people need to pay closer attention to what they are actually installing and authorizing, should lead to alot less whining after they do something and now want to undo it.

So now we have the discussion nicely balanced from both sides of the scope, the best thing a malware fighter could do weigh the pro's and contra's,

polonus
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Offline Lisandro

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Sorry if already answered... thread is too long ;D
How to uninstall it?
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Offline bob3160

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Sorry if already answered... thread is too long ;D
How to uninstall it?
Answered at the beginning of this thread. :)
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Offline .: L' arc :.

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Quote
Re: MS sneaks in a Fx add-on at machine level!

"It might be that people are not paying attention to what they are installing and giving it permission to install. MS is alot of things but they will always only install as part of some user initiated install."

-= Somehow, it appears to be uncontrollable in my place.. My .NET SP3 installer does not provide any further options [installs in background while pc is idle]..
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Avastfan1

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<snip>
Thanks for the information. I had a look in Firefox under extensions, themes and plugins but I couldn't find an entry 'Microsoft .NET Framework Assistant' as per your link (http://blogs.msdn.com/brada/archive/2009/02/27/uninstalling-the-clickonce-support-for-firefox.aspx)

Does this mean that it is not installed on my system Polonus?

The .NET framework isn't a part of the OS (currently) and as such unless an application that you use requires it then you don't need it, if it does need it it may either come with it to be installed or give a link to download and install.

I have one program on my system that requires it and if it weren't for that I wouldn't have it on my system, just something else to have to keep up to date. The .net framework updates are notorious for causing confusion and not only that failing to install.

Hello DavidR, Polonus and other Avast experts,

Thank you for the information. Sorry if I'm a bit lost because I'm a newbie. Please excuse the subsequent post.

Can somebody please clarify these four questions for me:

1. Do I have Microsoft.Net installed on my system?
2. Do I need Microsoft.Net installed?
3. Do I need five versions installed on my system? (please see below=
4. If it is installed on my system, why can't I see this mysterious greyed out plugin in Firefox?

I just looked in C:\WINDOWS\Microsoft.NET\Framework and I can directories for see:

- v.1.0.3705
- v.1.1.4322
- v.2.0.50727
- v.3.0
- v.3.5

In Firefox under extensions, themes and plugins there is no entry for 'Microsoft .NET Framework Assistant'.

Many thanks again and I look forward to your response(s)!

Avastfan1

Offline DavidR

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Check windows add remove programs, as .NET framework should be listed, you may even have more than one version listed.

Based on your list from C:\WINDOWS\Microsoft.NET\Framework you have it installed and are likely to have multiple versions listed in add remove programs.

However, I wouldn't recommend removing anything as without doubt this is the most confusing can of worms, some programs requires certain versions of .net and it is very difficult to even find what programs on your system even require it, much less what version it requires.

The latest .net version 3.5 doesn't act like in the case of an OS SP roll up old versions and as such doesn't appear to be backward compatible or you wouldn't need to retain the .net 1.0, 1.1, 2.9, 3.0, etc.

As I said a right royal can of worms.
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Avastfan1

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Thanks a lot for the reply. Much appreciated.

- Why can't I see this mysterious greyed out plugin in Firefox?

- Do the dated versions pose a security risk?

Thanks

Avastfan1

PS: Is my understanding of your response to my previous questions correct? (please see below)

-------------------------------------------------------------

1. Do I have Microsoft.Net installed on my system?

- According to add/remove programs these are installed:
   - Mircrosoft .NET Framework 1.1
   - Mircrosoft .NET Framework 1.1 Hotfix
   - Mircrosoft .NET Framework 2.0 Service Pack 2
   - Mircrosoft .NET Framework 3.0 Service Pack 2
   - Mircrosoft .NET Framework 3.5 Service Pack 1

2. Do I need Microsoft.Net installed?

- I assume from your reply that I do require it on my system.

3. Do I need five versions installed on my system?

- Noted your response that it is difficult to uninstall.

Offline DavidR

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Old versions do have vulnerabilities, that is why they have fixes and whilst some of the newer versions have additional functionality enhancements, they also have no doubt had security holse patched.

I simply can't answer questions 2 or 3, based on my last post that is something you have to investigate.
e.g. what programs actually need .net framework, what version of .net framework do they need, these two points make it impossible for me to say. It is a monumental task to even find out what programs use it and what version they need further complicates that and I really have no idea how to even go about that.

Getting rid of it is easy, that is why the add remove programs entries are there. The problem is it could break programs that require it, so this is why you need to find if you have programs which depend on it.
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Offline polonus

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Howdy malware fighters,

MS turned back in its tracks:

Well Microsoft patched it right here: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?displaylang=en&FamilyID=cecc62dc-96a7-4657-af91-6383ba034eab  (so if you have the older installation you can now both disable and uninstall it)
Furthermore we have found that uninstalling was possible for Windows7 from the word go, and the issue never existed for that Windows platform. Glad to inform you all here there is no issue anymore, I'm also glad the working of Mozilla Fx will be like it was and continued,

polonus
« Last Edit: June 04, 2009, 01:45:58 AM by polonus »
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crofty59

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Hi all

I have version 1.1 installed and this has a uninstall button, so assume i don't have to install microsoft fix.

I am still pretty much a computer illiterate.

Cheers

Jtaylor83

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It comes to show that Microsoft wants you to go back to IE. I wonder if they'll create a plugin for Flock that can't be removed?