Microsoft Plug-In Makes Firefox Vulnerable

Oct 16 2009, 11:30am CDT | by , in News | Technology News

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Microsoft Plug-In Makes Firefox Vulnerable
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It's so hard to like Microsoft. Whenever I see pictures of the Courier or use Windows 7, I want to sing Redmond's praises from the highest mountain. Unfortunately, MS seems incapable as a company of doing something awesome without doing something else terrible. For example; it's just come out that Microsoft sneakily forced an update on Firefox users that makes them ridiculously vulnerable to being hacked.

According to Computerworld, Microsoft released several updates in Febuary that affected both Firefox and IE, and one of the plug-ins MS pushed to Firefox added in a terrible vulnerability. It adds a Windows Presentation Foundation plug-in to Firefox. This add-on makes it possible for attackers to gain access to a computer using Firefox if the user is lured to the wrong web site.

Many users switched from Internet Explorer to Firefox in the first place to avoid this "browse-and-get-owned" vulnerability. The fact that Microsoft has accidentally added this to Firefox seems almost like an act of sabotage. Especially since they refuse to really fix it. In fact, until recently they weren't even allowing users to uninstall the plug-in.

Thanks to a May update, users can now fix the problem by uninstalling or disabling the .NET Framework Assistant. If you haven't yet, you need to do it now. As long as that assistant is active, you should consider your browser highly vulnerable.

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