Closed Bug 240136 Opened 17 years ago Closed 17 years ago
Firefox should not auto-import settings without user confirmation
User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Win98; en-US; rv:1.7b) Gecko/20040409 Firefox/0.8.0+ Build Identifier: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Win98; en-US; rv:1.7b) Gecko/20040409 Firefox/0.8.0+ i've seen cases where MSIE can get very damaged by web-related exploit content, and this often makes web surfing on that system very difficult, if not impossible. if firefox is to have the option of importing 'user settings and other information' from MSIE, or other browsers, it would be VERY good if it asked first. in my experience so far, in many cases, i have wanted firefox to be completely ignorant of whatever settings MSIE currently has. Reproducible: Always Steps to Reproduce: 1. install fresh copy of firefox 0.8.0+ (2004-04-09) onto system with MSIE installed 2. run mozilla firefox, the first time it will import settings from MSIE without prompting first. Expected Results: prompt yes/no for importing previous browser settings
what are we importing that will cause problems for users? I realize that spyware etc can cause problems, but that isn't what we're importing.
(In reply to comment #1) > what are we importing that will cause problems for users? I realize that > spyware etc can cause problems, but that isn't what we're importing. i believe that even if there aren't any known problems with settings import from other browsers, there probably will be in future. it would be better if a simple dialogue box popped up on first runtime and simply asked, would you like to import settings? that same dialogue then also doubles as a workaround to avoid some bug(s) we don't even know about yet, in the mechanisms that obtain the saved configuration information from the previous browser(s), if firefox just asks and we have a chance to tell it not to attempt any importing at all.
If a problem appears with the import option causing stability problems etc, FIXING that bug is the resolution, not adding a dialog that non-savvy users will just click yes to anyway. Adding UI to allow working around potential future bugs is just silly, IMO.
speaking from the perspective of users and contractors who do have more of a clue than the people you're speaking of, like myself, i would find it extremely handy when installing firefox on someone's system to get around certain settings and problems that MSIE has stored, to have the option of not importing settings. maybe an example will help illustrate: assume a certain website hacks up (hijacks) a users MSIE's settings to change all their search/about page settings, and even changes (via registry) what happens when someone uses http:// in their browser (a nasty type of redirection). these changes force the user to be hitting their site all the time, and they also may use a local file on disk to display when nothing should be displaying. so as it stands now, even if you didn't want those search settings set, they get set anyway. those people end up still going to the same hijacking search page they never wanted to be at in the first place, at least until they get to the configuration of firefox and walk through the various settings to find and remove the traces of that site from their settings. maybe i don't understand why it's such a big deal to add it: why not allow the user to choose to say 'no' at that initial loadup? it's one screen that then bypasses a chunk of the first-time startup, and should carry on..? why limit firefox's install to the kind of mentality that leads to 'just people who will hit yes anyway', as there are plenty of smart people using firefox too, who can read just fine and know where to go to ask for more information if they're unclear as to what is being asked. thanks for your continued time on the matter, as i do feel this is an important point for discussion.
you're arguing from the point of view of a THEORETICAL exploit, which might not even fall under the type of information that we currently import. And in fact, it probably doesn't. As I've stated before, the import should NOT allow importing of potentially insecure settings. To my knowledge it does not in any way. If there is a setting we should not be importing from IE, identify it and we can decide on that. Unsubstantiated paranoia doesn't justify adding a dialog. One of the design aims is to reduce dialogs to the absoluete minimum (reference the GNOME HIG for reasoning if you're interested) If you really want a workaround for this, create a profile manually from the profile manager before first startup and the auto-import doesn't run.
i still maintain that it will be in fact more work to do it the way your team has decided to do it; as you play catch-up with the various new types of exploits that will come out, being automatically transferred to firefox upon its installation, you may eventually see why i desired an ability to stop firefox from attempting any import of settings i never wanted set in the first place. i appreciate the dialogue anyway, but i can see this situation isn't going to change any time soon. thanks for your time.
Status: UNCONFIRMED → RESOLVED
Closed: 17 years ago
Resolution: --- → WONTFIX
like I've said multiple times, you're assuming that we're importing potentially harmful settings (i.e. we're importing a pref that allows hijacking of protocols, which we're not, and I don't think we would try) Nothing factual is in this bug, just speculation. If we import something that is potentially harmful, we should weigh the relative merits of importing that setting and implement safeguards. I honestly don't think that this will ever be an issue based on what we do import, however.
Status: RESOLVED → VERIFIED
*** Bug 239586 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
I'm the poster of Bug#239586. Just noticed why there have been no response to my post. It is sad that the Firefox team has decided not to fix this problem. I can see that we are now going to be like Micro$oft which dictates its software users what options to have what options not to have. I'm not a novice user and I want the ability to say NO to the importing dialog. I don't care what Firefox imports I just want to set/config those settings manually and cleanly. Why do you force advanced users to get what you decide novice users should have? Are you happy when you install a new program X for the first time and you see it automatically imports things (junk included) you don't know (or even if you know) from other similar software Y installed and you can't stop it? In fact, I can't think of any software that imports settings from other similar software installed on the computer. Tell me some if you know, apart from Firefox. Also, why import from IE? Why not import from Opera? What about Opera users who never uses IE on the computer and want to try Firefox? I won't get any thing imported from Opera so their newly installed Firefox won't work? It is not just about the dangerous stuff that Firefox could import. I agree with yossarian that at least we should be able to prevent that ourselves without having to wait for Firefox team, who plays catch up with things that could happen because of automatic importing feature, to fix problems that cause by other broswer in Firefox for us. Another reason for me is that I want to unzip Firefox to my home dir on the LAN and I don't want it to import junk from IE set by the admin of that workstation. I think this reason is also true for people running Firefox on USB harddrive without installing it to the machine first. They wouldn't want junk from IE on that machine imported to their USB Firefox. Please reconsider the decision. I know and you know it's not that hard to make that dialog stoppable. If you insist automatic import for novice users, what about delaying it for 2-3 seconds (with or without a counting down number) so that advanced users can click "Cancel" before the import starts? Thanks for listening. Cheers, Rob.
if you create a profile manually, the auto-import doesn't happen. We do actually support migration from Opera as well, I'm not 100% sure on the logic used to decide where the auto-import happens from. The workaround for "advanced" users is to create a profile before startup, and import manually. That is the extent of what we're doing here. If we get substantial feedback from 0.9 indicating that this is a Bad Thing(tm) then obviously we will reconsider. However, since users converting from another non-Mozilla/Netscape Windows browser have about a 95% chance of being IE users, the seamless, automatic migration of certain settings is a welcome bonus. Adding an unnecessary dialog to the first time startup for all of those users simply isn't justified by the edge cases mentioned here.
*** Bug 240823 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
Ok, creating a profile manually does help. For those who wonder how to do, run "firefox.exe -P". Do we have a list of Firefox's command line options? I've searched but couldn't find one. I got from the search that there is -fullscreen, -P, but I would like to know the rest. Thanks.
As a suggestion how about solving this from the point of view of the administrator how about having a question asking weither to import settings in the Custom/Advanced section of the installation routine. Normal users won't see it, admins can know it's there.
It seems to be that there should be a way to explicitly tell Firefox not to import settings. Firefox is very handy to deploy in environments where IE has been compromised. At the very least, those people do not want Firefox to import some bread crumb homepage set by some IE spyware to notify a site of the victim's IP address. Yeah, you can evade it, but it shouldn't be a bigger hassle than installing a new browser. At the least, importing should be an installer option. Looking through bugzilla, there are numerous import bugs, some of which appear critical. All of this says to me that the importer should be seperated as an extension, perhaps the first official Firefox extension. I, personally, do not want anything imported from IE, and would disable the installation of an importer just out of asthetics. I feel most Firefox users would do the same--the exception would be the new users, who wouldn't disable anything.
*** Bug 223314 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
*** Bug 244868 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
I'm the author of <strike><a href="show_bug.cgi?id=244868">Bug#244868</a></strike> . Most people here have been complaining about security issues. Mine was an interface issue. If we don't consider the security aspects, there's still a very annoying UI aspect that'll make all unaware users (meaning: even advanced users) believe that Firefox has crashed (lockup). When importing the IE favorites, there is no indication whatsoever that this is happening, no popup stating that Firefox may appear frozen, no import status bar. This isn't just an annoyance; from the user's perspective, this is just plain bad design. Anyone that's taken User Interfaces 101 knows the importance of psychology and impressions: it's not how long it takes, it's how long the user thinks it's taking. As long as there's some kind of indication, a status bar, anything that lets the user know what's happening, he won't care how long it takes. The assumption is always that if the software didn't say something would be happening, that nothing's supposed to happen, so "why the h311 is this piece of s*1t software frozen"? We all know Mozilla/Firefox is a good piece of software, so why even give a chance for people to believe otherwise?
(In reply to comment #17) > I'm the author of <strike><a > href="show_bug.cgi?id=244868">Bug#244868</a></strike>... Actually, Emmanuel Gravel is the author of bug 223314, not 244868. I'm the author of 244868. My issue is more of standard UI stuff: a program shouldn't change anything without confirmation/permission. I know we're talking about the initial setup here instead of anything I've previously configured, but as others have noted in the duplicate bug reports, Firefox should not assume that the user wants the program to look like IE. I'm closer to Joe Sixpack than a developer and Firefox's automatically configuring itself to look like IE irritates me. I have to dig around through the directory tree to delete various files (which I'm guessing at) to get Firefox back to its default state. I like Firefox so much (even as a beta), that I only use IE for those few sites Firefox can't handle. It's been so long since I've really USED IE that I'm not even sure what settings I have set there or why I set them that way. Making Firefox look like IE is not only of no use to me, it's also a hassle. Also, one of the comments here says that the import routine doesn't automatically run if you create a profile first. I'm pretty sure that's not correct. I usually create a new profile before starting up Firefox and I believe it still automatically migrates IE's settings. Just prior to reporting my duplicate bug, I had installed without a profile because the profile manager wouldn't create a profile in a new directory with this build. I'll try creating a profile with a new build and see if I'm remembering correctly.
I'd like to see this bug reopened. Just a simple prompt on first start would do: Firefox has detected that you have an install of [Internet Explorer|Mozilla|Opera]. Would you like us to import your bookmarks and settings for you? If you choose no, you can always do this later by choosing Import from the File menu. [Yes] [No]
I'm reopening this bug because the initial WONTFIX was based on the premise of an exploit, whereas the other requests are based on people not wanting auto-import for other reasons.
OS: Windows 98 → All
Hardware: PC → All
Assignee: firefox → bugs
Component: Preferences → Migration
(In reply to comment #18) > Also, one of the comments here says that the import routine doesn't > automatically run if you create a profile first. I'm pretty sure that's not > correct. I usually create a new profile before starting up Firefox and I > believe it still automatically migrates IE's settings. Just prior to reporting > my duplicate bug, I had installed without a profile because the profile manager > wouldn't create a profile in a new directory with this build. I'll try creating > a profile with a new build and see if I'm remembering correctly. I just confirmed that setting up a profile before the initial startup of a Firefox build does NOT stop the migration utility from automatically running. I uninstalled the previous Firefox version and deleted all mozilla/firefox directories. Downloaded and installed the trunk (w/ installer) version Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.8a2) Gecko/20040528 Firefox/0.8.0+ on XP. Told it not to run Firefox at the end of the install routine, went to the Profile Manager icon in the Program Group and set up my profile in a custom directory. Upon starting Firefox with that profile selected, Firefox immediately migrated my IE settings.
Per Ben's UE docs at: http://www.mozilla.org/projects/firefox/ue/migration/ I'm confirming this bug, because there should be a prompt to import settings. The user should be given a choice on first-run from where to import, or not to import anything at all.
Status: UNCONFIRMED → NEW
Ever confirmed: true
Summary: firefox auto-import of settings from previous browsers, without prompting first → Firefox should not auto-import settings without user confirmation
I agree that the installer should be prompted about what to import. I just installed the 0.9RC and the IE bookmarks and history that exist on my PC were imported automatically and now I've lost the bookmarks, etc. I had in Firefox 0.8. andI'm stuck with my son's bookmarks. IE is the default browser on the family PC (if that makes a difference). Suggesting I create a new profile after I've lost my bookmarks is ignoring the problem.
branch and trunk fixed.
Status: NEW → RESOLVED
Closed: 17 years ago → 17 years ago
Resolution: --- → FIXED
I have a comment about migrating from Firefox 0.8 to Firefox 0.9rc on Windows XP: I am very disappointed that upon the installation of 0.9rc, all useless IE settings and bookmarks were migrated into Firefox 0.9rc. I am very upset that none of my settings of the default installation of 0.8 appeared in 0.9rc. Not only the *imported settings from IE are useless* (like bookmarks Windows Update, Customise IE, Windows Media, etc), but *Firefox 0.9rc misses those bookmarks that are in fact useful in the new installation* (MozillaZine forums, Latest Builds, etc). I can only hope that the final Firefox 0.9 will in fact *import settings from Firefox 0.8*, and will *never import settings from IE without a conformation*.
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