Home Cyber Security News Major Mozilla Firefox Glitch Affecting Add-ons Still Awaiting a Fix

Major Mozilla Firefox Glitch Affecting Add-ons Still Awaiting a Fix

by Abeerah Hashim
Mozilla banned Firefox add-ons

Firefox users around the world recently faced troubles with their browser add-ons. The problem turned out to be a bug triggered by a certificate issue with the browser extensions. Consequently, Firefox disabled add-ons without leaving the margins for re-enabling or re-installations. Mozilla is still working on a permanent fix to resolve this issue.

Firefox Disabled Add-Ons All Together

Between May 3 and May 4, 2019, Firefox users around the world experienced a peculiar problem with their browser add-ons. According to the complaints the browser suddenly began disabling extensions without warning. Additionally, the users could not even reinstall or re-activate any extension.

Mozilla acknowledged the complaints and admitted a bug triggered due to certificate issue caused the problem. Eventually, Firefox disabled add-ons en masse, and also prevented any updates or reinstallations. As stated in their blog,

Late on Friday May 3rd, we became aware of an issue with Firefox that prevented existing and new add-ons from running or being installed.

The problem not only affected Firefox desktop users, but had also been reported intermittently to disturb others including Linux and Android users.

Mozilla Working On Permanent Fix

From May 4, 2019, Mozilla began working on a fix to resolve this global issue. Initially, they rolled-out a temporary fix for the Firefox Desktop users. They used the Studies system to deliver the fix automatically. Meanwhile, users did not need to delete or re-install any add-on. However, those with Studies disabled had to turn this feature on to receive the fix “hotfix-update-xpi-signing-intermediate-bug-1548973”.

Nonetheless, this fix didn’t work for Firefox ESR, Firefox for Android, and Firefox users on Linux distributions.

After this issue, people began devising workarounds to address the problem, however, Mozilla recommended to avoid them.

There are a number of work-arounds being discussed in the community. These are not recommended as they may conflict with fixes we are deploying.

While some users continue to face issues in receiving the hot fix as well, Mozilla still advises them to wait.

Some users are reporting that they do not have the “hotfix-update-xpi-signing-intermediate-bug-1548973” study active in “about:studies”. Rather than using work-arounds, which can lead to issues later on, we strongly recommend that you continue to wait.

For now, no permanent fix is available for the users who are still facing this trouble. So, the only legit option for them seems to be to wait until the firm releases a patch. Users should make sure not to delete any add-ons until then as Mozilla explained that this will result in data loss.

Take your time to comment on this article.

You may also like

Latest Hacking News

Privacy Preference Center

Necessary

The __cfduid cookie is used to identify individual clients behind a shared IP address and apply security settings on a per-client basis.

cookie_notice_accepted and gdpr[allowed_cookies] are used to identify the choices made from the user regarding cookie consent.

For example, if a visitor is in a coffee shop where there may be several infected machines, but the specific visitor's machine is trusted (for example, because they completed a challenge within your Challenge Passage period), the cookie allows Cloudflare to identify that client and not challenge them again. It does not correspond to any user ID in your web application, and does not store any personally identifiable information.

__cfduid, cookie_notice_accepted, gdpr[allowed_cookies]

Advertising

DoubleClick by Google refers to the DoubleClick Digital Marketing platform which is a separate division within Google. This is Google’s most advanced advertising tools set, which includes five interconnected platform components.

DoubleClick Campaign Manager: the ad-serving platform, called an Ad Server, that delivers ads to your customers and measures all online advertising, even across screens and channels.

DoubleClick Bid Manager – the programmatic bidding platform for bidding on high-quality ad inventory from more than 47 ad marketplaces including Google Display Network.

DoubleClick Ad Exchange: the world’s largest ad marketplace for purchasing display, video, mobile, Search and even Facebook inventory.

DoubleClick Search: is more powerful than AdWords and used for purchasing search ads across Google, Yahoo, and Bing.

DoubleClick Creative Solutions: for designing, delivering and measuring rich media (video) ads, interactive and expandable ads.

doubleclick

Analytics

The _ga is asssociated with Google Universal Analytics - which is a significant update to Google's more commonly used analytics service. This cookie is used to distinguish unique users by assigning a randomly generated number as a client identifier. It is included in each page request in a site and used to calculate visitor, session and campaign data for the sites analytics reports. By default it is set to expire after 2 years, although this is customisable by website owners.

The _gat global object is used to create and retrieve tracker objects, from which all other methods are invoked. Therefore the methods in this list should be run only off a tracker object created using the _gat global variable. All other methods should be called using the _gaq global object for asynchronous tracking.

_gid works as a user navigates between web pages, they can use the gtag.js tagging library to record information about the page the user has seen (for example, the page's URL) in Google Analytics. The gtag.js tagging library uses HTTP Cookies to "remember" the user's previous interactions with the web pages.

_ga, _gat, _gid