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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.
This update adds to Firefox one of the most dangerous vulnerabilities present in all versions of Internet Explorer: the ability for websites to easily and quietly install software on your PC. Since this design flaw is one of the reasons you may've originally chosen to abandon IE in favor of a safer browser like Firefox, you may wish to remove this extension with all due haste.
Unfortunately, Microsoft in their infinite wisdom has taken steps to make the removal of this extension particularly difficult - open the Add-ons window in Firefox, and you'll notice the Uninstall button next to their extension is grayed out! Their reasoning, according to Microsoft blogger Brad Abrams, is that the extension needed "support at the machine level in order to enable the feature for all users on the machine," which, of course, is precisely the reason this add-on is bad news for all Firefox users.
Here's the bafflingly-convoluted procedure required to remove this garbage from Firefox:
1. Open Registry Editor (type regedit in the Start menu Search box in Vista/Windows 7, or in XP's Run window).
2. Expand the branches to the following key: * On 32-bit systems: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Mozilla \ Firefox \ Extensions * On x64 systems: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Wow6432Node \ Mozilla \ Firefox \ Extensions
3. Delete the value named [20a82645-c095-46ed-80e3-08825760534b] from the right pane.
4. Close the Registry Editor when you're done.
5. Open a new Firefox window, and in the address bar, type about:config and press Enter.
6. Type microsoftdotnet in the Filter field to quickly find the general.useragent.extra.microsoftdotnet setting.
7. Right-click general.useragent.extra.microsoftdotnet and select Reset.
8. Restart Firefox.
9. Open Windows Explorer, and navigate to %SYSTEMDRIVE%\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v3.5\Windows Presentation Foundation.
10. Delete the DotNetAssistantExtension folder entirely.
11. Open the Add-ons window in Firefox to confirm that the Microsoft .NET Framework Assistant extension has been removed.
Been thinking about a linux / windows dual-boot setup so I can still play my games, though it sounds like a bit of a hassle.
Originally posted by yizzel
reply to post by octotom
Kewl, thanks for the linux info & links. Will look in to it...
"Microsoft .NET Framework Assistant v1.0" can't be uninstalled from FF's add-on UI.
Apparently you have to edit stuff in the Windows Registry to remove it. Whatta pain...
Originally posted by yellowbeard
when I get time I'm going to uninstall Firefox and do a new install from scratch. This should clear this little sucker out altogether.
Originally posted by yizzel
What about patches for security holes? Can't really ignore those. Remember that Conficker worm virus thing, if people downloaded Microsoft updates then it wouldn't of become such a problem. At least that's what Microsoft say.