McAfee to update problem Firefox extension

McAfee to update problem Firefox extension

Summary: McAfee has said it will update a Firefox extension that Mozilla developers had identified as causing performance issues for Firefox users.The problem is caused by a memory leak in the McAfee Site Advisor add-on, and will be updated around Wednesday this week, McAfee told ZDNet UK sister site CNet.

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TOPICS: Security
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McAfee has said it will update a Firefox extension that Mozilla developers had identified as causing performance issues for Firefox users.

The problem is caused by a memory leak in the McAfee Site Advisor add-on, and will be updated around Wednesday this week, McAfee told ZDNet UK sister site CNet.com on Friday.

"McAfee is aware of a memory leak associated with SiteAdvisor 3.4.1 affecting some Firefox 10 users, resulting in a potentially slower than normal browsing experience," McAfee said in the statement. "No data is at risk. The issue has been isolated and resolved, and fix deployment is targeted for the middle of next week."

The Site Advisor add-on rates sites for security. Last week Mozilla developers called for Mozilla to block the extension completely until McAfee, or the security company's owner Intel, had fixed the problem.

Mozilla developer Dietrich Ayala filed a bug on Thursday calling for the extension to be blocked, a sentiment that was echoed by Mozilla developers including Nicholas Nethercote.

"SiteAdvisor 3.4.1 is leaking every single user compartment that is being created," Nethercote said in the bug. "This is the worst imaginable behaviour for an add-on in terms of memory consumption."

One outcome of the bug is that when users close open pages in Firefox, most of the JavaScript memory used by the page is not freed up, causing the eventual slow-down and crashes of the browser, Nethercote Nethercote said in a blog post on Thursday.

"If you have the McAfee Site Advisor add-on installed in your Firefox, I recommend you disable it immediately because it has an appalling memory leak," said the blog post.

Mozilla said that McAfee had "quickly responded" to fix the bug.

"We recently discovered a memory leak with McAfee SiteAdvisor, notified McAfee of the problem and they quickly responded to fix the problem for their next release," Mozilla told CNet.com on Friday.

Topic: Security

Tom Espiner

About Tom Espiner

Tom is a technology reporter for ZDNet.com. He covers the security beat, writing about everything from hacking and cybercrime to threats and mitigation. He also focuses on open source and emerging technologies, all the while trying to cut through greenwash.

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