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  Firefox is up to no good! (Corrupted UI with random Chinese Characters) 
 
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Dr. Peaceful Dec 10, 2014, 05:00am EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Edited: Dec 10, 2014, 05:46am EST

Replies: 9 - Views: 26137
Ever since Firefox version 33, I've been experiencing random hangs and crashes. Now with version 34, I am getting random Chinese characters floating around on the Firefox UI near the tabs.

Here are the user complains in their support forum, including screenshots of what it looks like.
https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/1034964
https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/1027393

I suspect it's just a graphics corruption problem in their UI design. But at this point, can not rule out if it's some kind of malware hijacking the browser. Notice in the support links above, there's suggestion to disable McAfee addon. Mine happened to be disabled already, but still seeing the random characters.

Other things I've tried so far, including uninstalling Firefox, deleted all remaining program and user preference folders, and reinstall. No difference, same error!

I am suspending all use of Firefox for web browsing at this point, until they can clear this problem up.


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Dr. Peaceful Dec 10, 2014, 05:43am EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Edited: Dec 10, 2014, 05:47am EST

 
>> Re: Firefox is up to no good! (Corrupted UI with random Chinese Characters)
Here's another related thread in their support forum.
https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/1029289

john albrich Dec 10, 2014, 12:45pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Edited: Dec 10, 2014, 12:45pm EST

 
>> Re: Firefox is up to no good! (Corrupted UI with random Chinese Characters)
.
It may not be Firefox itself, but external elements involved. It's even possible Firefox is pre-infected at whatever download sites people use.

It could also be aggravated by using local peripherals manufactured in China...
With Firefox being a very popular browser, hacking by Chinese "students" is a very real possibility...in cooperation with device manufacturers (e.g. USB attached devices including card readers, HDD external enclosures, etc)

See my post at:
http://www.hardwareanalysis.com/content/topic/79001/
"Malware: Chargers/Powerbanks/Adapters Infect Devices/Systems?"

I still get multiple attempted attacks every month on my systems from "schools" in China. This has been going on for years.

Supreet Virdi Dec 14, 2014, 06:25am EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Firefox is up to no good! (Corrupted UI with random Chinese Characters)
Firefox has been bought by the bitches of this Royal Industry. Switch to Google Chrome, although it has also been tweaked to notice our engagement with search practices, I am happy to announce that we are no longer secure :)

____

101% Pure ATI Whoop ASSŪ!!

http://img397.imageshack.us/img397/1715/picture0011ki.jpg
http://img397.imageshack.us/img397/6671/picture0045rp.jpg
Meats_Of_Evil Dec 15, 2014, 02:59am EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Firefox is up to no good! (Corrupted UI with random Chinese Characters)
Wow that's weird as f**k. I would be so paranoid as to stop using Firefox if that happened to me. The only thing that's ticking me off is that I get chunks of HTML code on some webpages instead of the full design but it could be no script acting up.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Everything I write is Sarcasm.
Dr. Peaceful Dec 17, 2014, 12:21am EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Firefox is up to no good! (Corrupted UI with random Chinese Characters)
Wow, nice to see some HWA "old timers" replied to this thread! Hope you all doing well. The forum sure is pitch quiet at times.

Ok, so here's what I've found. Turned out I missed one Firefox content folder, located in \Users\[username]\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla. This one actually contains a lot of Firefox user profile files. I uninstalled Firefox once again using the uninstaller, then manually removed all Firefox related folders from Program Files, ProgramData and AppData, including the one above. Then reinstalled Firefox using an installer manually downloaded from Mozilla.Org. This time Firefox looked like it's being installed the very first time in the computer.

Same time I ran a scan using the latest version of Malwarebytes. I nailed 3 PUPs (Potentially Unwanted Programs). Not sure if they were really related, but I removed them anyway.

Between these two things I've done, for the last few days I have not seen the Chinese characters that were corrupting the Firefox user interface. They have not resurfaced again. Hopefully never. I am not sure which one of the things, clean install or malware scan, actually fixed the issue. May be both.

There's not much updates from the Firefox support forum either, besides some additional reports of users seeing the same problem. So there's yet an official answer for what exactly is causing this. The possibilities are:
1) A glitch in the Firefox program design which allows incompatible Add-on(s) to corrupt the browser's own user interface.
2) A malware which somehow used Firefox's update interface to install a hijacked version of the browser.

While for me the Chinese characters are gone, the instability remains for Firefox. At times, I was observing some 15 - 30 seconds hangs while loading certain webpage. Possibly these were related to certain webpage elements that used Adobe Flash. Both the Firefox program and the mouse would be frozen during the hang. Most of the time, it could resume normal operation after, but occasionally it would crash.

Dr. Peaceful Dec 17, 2014, 12:44am EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Firefox is up to no good! (Corrupted UI with random Chinese Characters)
john albrich said:
...
I still get multiple attempted attacks every month on my systems from "schools" in China. This has been going on for years.

If I were you, I would either ask the ISP to give you a new IP or just change ISP all together, whichever that's easier. With a new public IP, at least will give you a fresh start. Hopefully, that would keep these a55h0les from you at least for a long while.

Supreet Virdi said:
Firefox has been bought by the bitches of this Royal Industry...

I think for this case, it's more like they're doing some "revolutionary" changes, pushing out these new versions, without ironing out all the new bugs first! But I see what you're saying. ;)

Meats_Of_Evil said:
...The only thing that's ticking me off is that I get chunks of HTML code on some webpages instead of the full design but it could be no script acting up.

Yup, corrupted webpages is one thing. This the whole damn browser window that's corrupting!

john albrich Dec 18, 2014, 07:18pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Edited: Dec 18, 2014, 07:40pm EST

 
>> Re: Firefox is up to no good! (Corrupted UI with random Chinese Characters)
Dr. Peaceful said:
...If I were you, I would either ask the ISP to give you a new IP or just change ISP all together, whichever that's easier. With a new public IP, at least will give you a fresh start. Hopefully, that would keep these a55h0les from you at least for a long while....


Unfortunately, it's across multiple ISPs, IPs, and geographic locations.

It's estimated that at least 2,000 companies in the US are hacked by a handful of foreign governments (primarily Russia, China, Iran).

Reportedly and industry insiders claim China has been extremely aggressive in hacking US defense industries and their vendors/suppliers.

Consider that hacking a supplier can reveal an easy entry path into the primary target company. That's been reported as one way China obtained a huge amount of the data on the US F-35 fighter which has enabled China to produce and show at the recent Zhuhai airshow what some analysts consider a possibly equivalent performance and stealth aircraft to the F-35 fighter. their J-31. China will also be able to repeatedly "tweak" the design much faster than the typical US military procurement/approval process.

http://www.businessinsider.com/chinese-stealth-fighters-could-...35-2014-11

With China's direct access to US tech for the electronics industry, indeed even supplying as the ONLY source a huge percentage of the chips for operationally critical US military computers, communications, and avionics, I have no difficulty believing China is capable of such a feat. I think it's also reasonable to speculate this includes US radiation and EMP hardening technology, and electonic countermeasures hardware and software..

Dr. Peaceful Dec 19, 2014, 01:13am EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Firefox is up to no good! (Corrupted UI with random Chinese Characters)
Ok, after research some more on the PUP I got, all 3 items removed by Malwarebytes were PUP.Optional.InstallCore, it's definitely a malware and a browser hijacker. See the links below for descriptions and removal instructions.

http://malwarefixes.com/threats/pup-optional-installcore/
https://forums.malwarebytes.org/index.php?/topic/145248-please...tallcorea/

The mystery is how the heck it got into my system. I remember the Chinese characters corrupting Firefox started to show up only hours after updating to version 34. Within those hours, I don't think I installed anything else.

Oh, well, I cleaned it. But to be sure, will do a total wipe and reinstall of windows.

John Smith Mar 09, 2015, 05:27pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Edited: Mar 09, 2015, 05:28pm EDT

 
>> Re: Firefox is up to no good! (Corrupted UI with random Chinese Characters)
No need to use Malwarebytes.

I had this problem and it was caused by a faulty McAfee plugin.

If you disable the McAfee plugin and restart Firefox, the characters should go away.


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