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Firefox's website suggestions are setting off my malware detection software

Posted

When I type "win" into the address bar, Firefox suggests the website www.windowspasswordsrecovery.com. As soon as this suggestion is shown, Malwarebytes gives me a pop-up to say that malware is trying to access my computer.

Is there a way to turn off these suggestions? This isn't a website I've visited before or one of my bookmarks, I've turned off "Provide search suggestions" under Default Search Engines, so this seems some sort of autofill suggested by Firefox itself.

I've run about 15 different virus programs at this point and gone through troubleshooting with Malwarebytes. There's no infection on my computer, but there seems to be some issue with this one website suggestion in Firefox trying to get access to my computer.

I know this is a weird problem and I'm all out of ideas at this point.

Thanks.

When I type "win" into the address bar, Firefox suggests the website www.windowspasswordsrecovery.com. As soon as this suggestion is shown, Malwarebytes gives me a pop-up to say that malware is trying to access my computer. Is there a way to turn off these suggestions? This isn't a website I've visited before or one of my bookmarks, I've turned off "Provide search suggestions" under Default Search Engines, so this seems some sort of autofill suggested by Firefox itself. I've run about 15 different virus programs at this point and gone through troubleshooting with Malwarebytes. There's no infection on my computer, but there seems to be some issue with this one website suggestion in Firefox trying to get access to my computer. I know this is a weird problem and I'm all out of ideas at this point. Thanks.

Chosen solution

Hi, stouriefit, are these suggestions appearing in the address bar itself, or in the drop-down below it?

The in-URL-bar autofill feature can be disabled separately from the suggestions on the drop-down list:

(1) In a new tab, type or paste about:config in the address bar and press Enter/Return. Click the button promising to be careful or accepting the risk.

(2) In the search box above the list, type or paste URLB and pause while the list is filtered

(3) Double-click the browser.urlbar.autoFill preference to switch the value from true to false

If you want to keep autofill but turn off the pre-connection feature:

(4) Double-click the browser.urlbar.speculativeConnect.enabled preference to switch the value from true to false (to disable speculative pre-connections in all contexts, see the setting here: https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/how-stop-firefox-making-automatic-connections#w_speculative-pre-connections)


That said, Firefox shouldn't suggest autofill host names that aren't in your history or bookmarks anywhere, although in a new installation it may use a "top sites" list (at least on mobile). So perhaps that site is lurking somewhere??

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Additional System Details

Installed Plug-ins

Ghostery, AdBlock Plus, McAfee WebAdvisor

Application

  • User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64; rv:68.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/68.0

More Information

jscher2000
  • Top 10 Contributor
8633 solutions 70605 answers

Chosen Solution

Hi, stouriefit, are these suggestions appearing in the address bar itself, or in the drop-down below it?

The in-URL-bar autofill feature can be disabled separately from the suggestions on the drop-down list:

(1) In a new tab, type or paste about:config in the address bar and press Enter/Return. Click the button promising to be careful or accepting the risk.

(2) In the search box above the list, type or paste URLB and pause while the list is filtered

(3) Double-click the browser.urlbar.autoFill preference to switch the value from true to false

If you want to keep autofill but turn off the pre-connection feature:

(4) Double-click the browser.urlbar.speculativeConnect.enabled preference to switch the value from true to false (to disable speculative pre-connections in all contexts, see the setting here: https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/how-stop-firefox-making-automatic-connections#w_speculative-pre-connections)


That said, Firefox shouldn't suggest autofill host names that aren't in your history or bookmarks anywhere, although in a new installation it may use a "top sites" list (at least on mobile). So perhaps that site is lurking somewhere??

Hi, stouriefit, are these suggestions appearing in the address bar itself, or in the drop-down below it? The in-URL-bar autofill feature can be disabled separately from the suggestions on the drop-down list: (1) In a new tab, type or paste '''about:config''' in the address bar and press Enter/Return. Click the button promising to be careful or accepting the risk. (2) In the search box above the list, type or paste '''URLB''' and pause while the list is filtered (3) Double-click the '''browser.urlbar.autoFill''' preference to switch the value from true to false ''If you want to keep autofill but turn off the pre-connection feature:'' (4) Double-click the '''browser.urlbar.speculativeConnect.enabled''' preference to switch the value from true to false (to disable speculative pre-connections in all contexts, see the setting here: [https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/how-stop-firefox-making-automatic-connections#w_speculative-pre-connections https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/how-stop-firefox-making-automatic-connections#w_speculative-pre-connections]) ---- That said, Firefox shouldn't suggest autofill host names that aren't in your history or bookmarks anywhere, although in a new installation it may use a "top sites" list (at least on mobile). So perhaps that site is lurking somewhere??
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Question owner

Just when I'd lost the will, I finally found the right setting hidden away in about:config (it's browser.urlbar.autoFill). I'm still curious if anyone knows how/why Firefox suggesting that website would cause my malware software to flag something trying to access my computer, though.

Just when I'd lost the will, I finally found the right setting hidden away in about:config (it's browser.urlbar.autoFill). I'm still curious if anyone knows how/why Firefox suggesting that website would cause my malware software to flag something trying to access my computer, though.
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Question owner

Thank you. Sorry, cross-posted with you there. Yes, it seems to be some kind of top suggestions thing.

So the malware flag might be linked to the speculative pre-connections, do you think?

Thank you. Sorry, cross-posted with you there. Yes, it seems to be some kind of top suggestions thing. So the malware flag might be linked to the speculative pre-connections, do you think?
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jscher2000
  • Top 10 Contributor
8633 solutions 70605 answers

Helpful Reply

stouriefit said

So the malware flag might be linked to the speculative pre-connections, do you think?

Yes, if speculative pre-connections are disabled, then Firefox wouldn't try to open a connection to the site and Malwarebytes should keep sitting on its hands waiting for the request.

(I realize that feature saves some milliseconds if I proceed to the site, but for more privacy, I disable it.)

(I also disable autofill because it's distracting, but most people like autofill.)

''stouriefit [[#answer-1241434|said]]'' <blockquote> So the malware flag might be linked to the speculative pre-connections, do you think? </blockquote> Yes, if speculative pre-connections are disabled, then Firefox wouldn't try to open a connection to the site and Malwarebytes should keep sitting on its hands waiting for the request. (I realize that feature saves some milliseconds if I proceed to the site, but for more privacy, I disable it.) (I also disable autofill because it's distracting, but most people like autofill.)
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Question owner

No disrespect to Firefox, but in all honestly it seems like a bit of a pointless "feature" and having it turned on by default is a bit tonedeaf during a time when people are becoming more concerned about their privacy--especially with Firefox being a big supporter of that. If it wasn't for Malwarebytes throwing a fit, I'd never even have known that I was being connected to all these websites every time I start typing in the address bar.

Thank you again for the help. Do I click the "solved the problem" button to close the thread? (Sorry, haven't used this forum before.)

No disrespect to Firefox, but in all honestly it seems like a bit of a pointless "feature" and having it turned on by default is a bit tonedeaf during a time when people are becoming more concerned about their privacy--especially with Firefox being a big supporter of that. If it wasn't for Malwarebytes throwing a fit, I'd never even have known that I was being connected to all these websites every time I start typing in the address bar. Thank you again for the help. Do I click the "solved the problem" button to close the thread? (Sorry, haven't used this forum before.)
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jscher2000
  • Top 10 Contributor
8633 solutions 70605 answers

stouriefit said

No disrespect to Firefox, but in all honestly it seems like a bit of a pointless "feature" and having it turned on by default is a bit tonedeaf during a time when people are becoming more concerned about their privacy--especially with Firefox being a big supporter of that.

People want speed. Perhaps it is important to surface these preferences so people can decide for themselves.

Do I click the "solved the problem" button to close the thread?

There should be a button to the right of each reply, so you can select the most relevant answer, or you can write a summary and mark the summary as the solution.

''stouriefit [[#answer-1241455|said]]'' <blockquote> No disrespect to Firefox, but in all honestly it seems like a bit of a pointless "feature" and having it turned on by default is a bit tonedeaf during a time when people are becoming more concerned about their privacy--especially with Firefox being a big supporter of that.</blockquote> People want speed. Perhaps it is important to surface these preferences so people can decide for themselves. <blockquote>Do I click the "solved the problem" button to close the thread? </blockquote> There should be a button to the right of each reply, so you can select the most relevant answer, or you can write a summary and mark the summary as the solution.
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