A popular Firefox add-on appears to have started leaking private information about every website that users visit to a third-party server, including sensitive data which could identify individuals or reduce their security.
Naked Security reader Rob Sanders alerted us to the activities of the recently updated ShowIP add-on for the Firefox browser.
Currently over 170,000 people are said to be using ShowIP.
What the add-on’s description doesn’t say is that since version 1.3 (released on April 19th 2012) it has also sent – unencrypted – the full URL of sites visited using HTTPS, and sites viewed in Private Browsing mode, to a site called ip2info.org.
The user never realises that the data has been shared with a third-party, unless they use special tools to monitor what data is being sent from their computer.
McAfee ScriptScan has been blocked for your protection.
Why was it blocked?
This add-on causes a high volume of crashes.
Who is affected?
Users of McAfee ScriptScan versions 14.4.0 and below for all versions of Firefox and SeaMonkey.
What does this mean?
Users are strongly encouraged to disable the problematic add-on or plugin, but may choose to continue using it if they accept the risks described.
Surfing to the “Add-ons Blocklist” page one is greeted with,
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If you do not receive an update notice when using the applications, select “Check for Updates” from the Help menu.
Mozilla addons site targeted in same attack that hit Google
“In the absence of a full account of mis-issued certificates from DigiNotar, the Mozilla team moved quickly to remove DigiNotar from our root program and protect our users.”
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One I’d already disabled is listed in the top two, 74% slowdown.
Add-ons provide many useful features and functions, but they can also cause Firefox to become slower. Some add-ons can even slow Firefox to a crawl and make it difficult to use for regular web browsing. If you think add-ons might be the reason Firefox is lethargic, check the list below for some of the biggest bottlenecks. And remember, for best performance you should disable add-ons that you no longer use regularly.
Add-ons with Slowest Start-up
The following add-ons have the most impact on how long it takes Firefox to start up.