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Updated Mozilla automatically installed a weird add-on to Firefox on people's computers — an add-on that turned out to be a marketing promotion for the hit telly show Mr Robot.
The open-source non-profit dev house secretly slipped the oddity, dubbed Through the Looking Glass , into browser installations as a shield study. These special extensions are experimental Firefox features pushed by Mozilla to a select number of punters for testing before being released to the public. By default, Firefox automatically accepts and runs these studies. In this case, Looking Glass was pushed to a big bunch of people — seemingly everyone who kept the default settings — and was intended as a game to promote the hacker-centric TV suspense-drama.
Looking Glass, when activated, would alter webpages participating in the, presumably paid-for, Mr Robot promotion, to present web surfers with puzzles, clues, and similar stuff. Are you a fan of Mr Robot? Are you trying to solve one of the many puzzles that the Mr Robot team has built? Mr Robot — which followed its strong first season in with a weak second series and bounced back in the third — and Mozilla both make a big deal out of protecting people's privacy.
Last week, it was Moz's turn to lose the plot, pull an Apple-U2 , and automatically install a TV show promotion in its browser. Netizens quickly spotted the plugin, reporting it as a possible piece of malware. We also clocked the study appearing in The Register 's copies of Firefox. After more users, most of whom did not watch the cable TV show and thus did not get the reference, erupted with fury, Mozilla backtracked on the botched advertising campaign.
Fresh installs of Firefox no longer have the shield study, and the extension has been moved to Moz's browser add-on store. I wasted a few hours trying to figure out that the hell this new, spyware-looking, unwanted extension was. Most users are not programmers; most people don't watch Mr Robot; and most people are not going to waste a bunch of time tracking down stupid crap like this.
Your actions here simply drive most people into the hands of Google, Microsoft, and Apple browsers. Essentially, go to about: Meanwhile, the code for Looking Glass has been released on GitHub. Mozilla chief marketing officer Jascha Kaykas-Wolff has posted a mea-culpa on the Mozilla blog. The exec also said Mozilla did not sell out its loyalists to a TV network — this was done for free.
Don't follow the crowd. Stay off the cloud Google releases lite PC-snooper, 'cos full mobile management is hard. Bill Clinton's cyber-attack novel: The airport haxploit-blockbuster you knew it would be 'Plane Hacker' Roberts: I put a network sniffer on my truck to see what it was sharing.
Huawei enterprise comms kit has a TLS crypto bug Hands up if you didn't lose data in the Typeform breach. Quatermass and the Git Pit. Yeah, we wanted GitHub too. Policy The Channel UK. We can go on Apple is Mac-ing on enterprise: ZX Spectrum reboot firm boss delays director vote date again Uh-oh. Dear Samsung mobe owners: It may leak your private pics to randoms.
Geek's Guide Do you work in life sciences IT? Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Is it a giant alien space cigar? Whatever it is, boffins are baffled Galileo, here we go again. Artificial Intelligence Internet of Things London's top cop isn't expecting facial recog tech to result in 'lots of arrests' Want to know how to save big on AI and machine learning?
Just look at the state of AI today. Say hello to your new AI pal-bot, space station 'nauts. Verity Stob What a flap: Clangers creator dies aged 89 Foot lose: Idiot perv's shoe-mounted upskirt vid camera explodes. Here's the game's description: Reviews on the extension were Most read 'Plane Hacker' Roberts: Smash-hit game Fortnite is dangerous Wine has run Microsoft Solitaire on Linux for 25 years IBM fired me because I'm not a millennial, says axed cloud sales star in age discrim court row.
More from The Register. Mozilla to pop limited ad blocker into Firefox Deteriorating web prompts browser maker to take a stand. Mozilla whips out Rusty new Firefox Quantum and that's a good thing Landmark build promises to be faster, slimmer, better at multi-threading. Mozilla offers sysadmins a Policy Engine for roll-your-own Firefox installs And warms to a kind of speculative execution for Tabs, too.
Understand how you can make smarter decisions to move faster — both blocking an adversary and disrupting them altogether — by using orchestration with intelligence. For teams new to containers, one of the biggest challenges is security. Or is there a middle road that makes sense?
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