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Firefox Users!

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Microsoft have been messing with your browser.

The Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 Service Pack 1 update, pushed through the Windows Update service to all recent editions of Windows in February 2009, installs the Microsoft .NET Framework Assistant firefox extension without asking your permission. 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 choosen 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.

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if youve had updates in the past couple of month from Windows i'd check.

If you open the Add-ons window in Firefox, if you have it, its in there and the uninstall button is greyed out.

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I'm still waiting for

"If you have a mac there wouldnt be a problem"



its true!! and the nice people at apple have given all pc users safari.

i use a mac laptop and a pc desktop. on the desktop i use google chrome.. personally i find it the best browser out there and has far less threats pop up than with any of the others..

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ok, I realise this is just a quote from somewhere else, but it's a bit of an exaggeration to say that this is "one of the most dangerous vulnerabilities present in all versions of Internet Explorer".

Also, I understand that you can just disable the extension, you don't have to remove it by editing the Registry.

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Just tabloids mate causing hysteria - this came out ages ago and it's already been changed so that the addon only works on a per user basis - wouldn't personally bother going through this - you should really be running something like NoScript in Firefox which puts you in control of all active content which is more dangerous than this anyway :)

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