FireFox causes whole OS to hang for minutes with system resources normal; task manager eventually comes up and killing FF resolves issue

RESOLVED WORKSFORME

Status

()

Firefox
Untriaged
RESOLVED WORKSFORME
2 months ago
24 days ago

People

(Reporter: jefbond, Unassigned, NeedInfo)

Tracking

57 Branch
Points:
---

Firefox Tracking Flags

(Not tracked)

Details

(Reporter)

Description

2 months ago
User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64; rv:57.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/57.0
Build ID: 20171128222554

Steps to reproduce:

I had a couple dozen tabs open and FireFox has been opened for a few days. Out of the blue, not when clicking a link or playing a video etc, the whole OS froze. The mouse skips across the screen and no applications are responsive. Ctrl-shift-Esc to bring up Task Manager is extremely unresponsive, too, and after a couple minutes Task Manager finally comes up, but takes a few more minutes to populate.

I am not able to reproduce this on-demand, but this is the 3rd time this has happened since installing FF 57.0, so I'm sure it is related to this release.

I also know the cause of the unresponsiveness is definitely FireFox because when I'm finally able to get Task Manager up, force killing FireFox brings the machine back to normal immediately.

I'll also note the following:
- FireFox memory usage is not bad when this happens; say 400MB (and total RAM usage about 40%)
- CPU usage is not bad when this happens; stays around 10% usage
- Today updated to 57.0.1 right _after_ this happened last; I'll let you know if/when it happens again in this newer version (wanted to note this issue now). Have had 57.0 installed since day 1 of public release
- Win10 Pro N 64-bit
- i7-2600K
- 16GB RAM
- Only extension installed: Adblock Plus
- Only default theme installed
- Only plugins are "OpenH264 Video Codec provided by Cisco Systems, Inc." 1.7.1 and "Widevine Content Decryption Module provided by Google Inc." 1.4.8.1008
- No Flash player installed
- I don't believe the issue was caused by a specific website/page, but I'll try to keep an eye on this for next time


Actual results:

See paragraph 1 from how to reproduce above.

FF did not crash and therefore I don't have a crash report I can send unfortunately.

I'm new to Bugzilla and haven't developed for FireFox, though I'm a software developer of 10y, so let me know if there's anything else I can do to help share more details/logs or give better feedback.


Expected results:

FireFox should not have frozen the whole OS. This leads me to think it is a bigger issue. If anything, FF should have been the only application to freeze or should have crashed.

I've checked this bug as a security issue to be hidden from public just because I think there may be potential of something being exploited since the bug affects the entire OS and not just one application.
(Reporter)

Comment 1

2 months ago
Also, sorry if this is a duplicate ticket. I did search for anything related to it, and did not find any other current bugs that sound related.

Comment 2

2 months ago
Do you use any general windows software that affects all applications including Firefox, such as anti-virus programs, accessibility helper applications like screen magnifiers or similar, copy/paste helpers or any other such tools that interact with Firefox in any way? Do you use yubikeys or any other hardware auth stuff? Are there any particular sites that seem to be open when this behaviour happens?

Can you post a copy of about:support ( Help > Troubleshooting Information > copy text to clipboard ) ?
Flags: needinfo?(jefbond)
(Reporter)

Comment 3

2 months ago
I have Webroot Secure Anywhere antivirus installed (v9.0.18.34), which has been installed for a few months (so for a few months before FF 57.0 was installed).

Other than that, not much. I don't have any accessibility or helper applications like those you mentioned or even anything else that comes to mind. I also don't have any other advanced hardware installed or hardware for authentication. Internally, just standard devices such as SSD and standard adapters for video and network, nothing unusual. Only external hardware plugged other than monitors is a USB mouse and Logitech headset, both of which have been plugged into this machine for a couple years and have no issues.

Typical applications running:
- FireFox
- MS Office (Outlook primarily)
- MS Visual Studio 2015
- [standard] Notepad
- Skype
- SQL Server Management Studio (used as client, not as server)
- TortoiseSVN client

Other (maybe) notable services running in the background:
- AirPort Base Station Agent (for Apple Airport Extreme)
- Cortana
- DisplayFusion (for desktop wallpaper; has not been touched in over a year)
- iTunes Helper
- Kaseya (IT uses it to manage this workstation; verified with them no changes anytime recently)
- PDF Architect 4 (used to use to create PDFs, actually no longer used so can uninstall)
- Veeam (used to do daily disk backups)

Typical websites open:
- StackOverflow
- Jira (issue tracker for software we develop)
- TeamCity (UI for build agent for software we develop)
- DuckDuckGo
- MacRumors
- MSDN

Nothing else really noteworthy regarding sites. I don't have Flash installed and do not watch videos on this machine.

Thanks
Flags: needinfo?(jefbond)
(Reporter)

Comment 5

2 months ago
Looking at FF update history, FF build I had for the few times this bug has occurred:

57.0 v20171112125346
This current 57.0.1 version installed today after the bug occurred last; 9:54am CST
I'd love to be able to needinfo? aklotz on this bug to get his take, but I don't seem to have that capability...

Comment 7

2 months ago
(In reply to Mike Conley (:mconley) (:⚙️) - Backlogged on reviews and needinfos from comment #6)
> I'd love to be able to needinfo? aklotz on this bug to get his take, but I
> don't seem to have that capability...

On sec bugs, sometimes you have to add people to the CC list as well.
Flags: needinfo?(aklotz)

Comment 8

2 months ago
My first suggestion is to force-disable accessibility. Reporter's about:support clearly indicates that something has turned it on (even though we don't know what it is).
Flags: needinfo?(aklotz)

Comment 9

2 months ago
(In reply to Aaron Klotz [:aklotz] from comment #8)
> My first suggestion is to force-disable accessibility. Reporter's
> about:support clearly indicates that something has turned it on (even though
> we don't know what it is).

To do this, search the preferences for "accessibility" and tick "Prevent accessibility services from accessing your browser", and restart as suggested. Can you check if this helps?
Flags: needinfo?(jefbond)
(Reporter)

Comment 10

2 months ago
(In reply to :Gijs from comment #9)
> (In reply to Aaron Klotz [:aklotz] from comment #8)
> > My first suggestion is to force-disable accessibility. Reporter's
> > about:support clearly indicates that something has turned it on (even though
> > we don't know what it is).
> 
> To do this, search the preferences for "accessibility" and tick "Prevent
> accessibility services from accessing your browser", and restart as
> suggested. Can you check if this helps?

I've checked that setting now to prevent accessibility access. I'll continue to use FF as normal to see if it happens again. As mentioned, I haven't found out an explicit way to reproduce the issue yet, so it'll probably just be a matter of time to see if this or 57.0.1 has helped.

Let me know if you think of anything else, thanks
Flags: needinfo?(jefbond)
Does not appear to be a security vulnerability. Hiding comment 4 in case any of that is personal information.
Group: firefox-core-security
Hey jefbond,

Have things improved for you?
Flags: needinfo?(jefbond)
(Reporter)

Comment 13

a month ago
Hi all, sorry for the delay. Yes, things have indeed improved! Not sure what specifically fixed it since I made a couple tweaks (all the suggestions listed above), but it hasn't happened again since then. Strange bug if one of those things was the culprit. I guess the good news is the issue was isolated enough to where it probably will be a rare issue that comes up instead of affecting a lot of users.

I appreciate all the help you all gave. I'll still keep an eye on it and definitely report back if it happens again. Until then, not sure if you guys would prefer to close this ticket or leave it open for a few more days. Thanks again, and let me know if you need anything else from me.
Flags: needinfo?(jefbond)

Comment 14

a month ago
Aaron, do we have some way of getting more information here that'd be helpful either to us or the reporter (in terms of what software is invoking the a11y APIs)?
Flags: needinfo?(aklotz)
Based on Comment 13 from the reporter, changing status to RESOLVED WORKS FOR ME.

If anyone can still reproduce it on latest versions, feel free to reopen the issue and provide more information.
Status: UNCONFIRMED → RESOLVED
Last Resolved: 24 days ago
Resolution: --- → WORKSFORME
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