Firefox Suddenly and Randomly Shuts Down
About 1 week ago, Firefox started to randomly and suddenly shut down. It typically happens once, max twice a day and when it happens, it closes all open tabs without giving any warning and without showing any error or crash report. The shut down is triggered by a click, typically a click to open a link, or open a new tab - that is, it does not shut down by itself. Firefox does not reopen by itself, you must reopen it. When it reopens, it goes back to the latest situation prior to the shut down event, ie, it reopens all closed tabs and the closed web links - as if it were a crash. I did not find any particular pattern (ie, websites, time of the day, open apps, amount of time online, etc) - it appears rather random. No other issues reported - slow system, unwanted downloads, opening unwanted links, etc
EVENTS HAPPENED RECENTLY THAT MAY BE RELATED 1. My AV Provider (Bitdefender) sent me a message saying that it is about to stop supporting my OS (Win XP) 2. Yesterday another one of my AV shields (Malwarebytes Antiexploit) reported that an exploit code was blocked in Firefox, but without giving more details 3. Yesterday morning my PC asked me to log in by clicking on my user name. The thing is, I have never activated this option, as the PC is set to go directly onto the desktop, without asking to click on usernames, or typing passwords. After yesterday, it did not do it again.
WHAT I HAVE DONE - Run a full scan with Malwarebytes Antimalware - no issues found - Checked if all the installed plugins were up to date - no issues found - Opened Firefox in safe-mode - currently checking if the issue persists - Checked the Firefox crash log - no crash reported
OVERVIEW OF MY SYSTEM AND APPS - OS: Win XP SP3 32 Bit. Updates are still coming, mostly for MS Apps (Excel, Word, etc) - Browser: Firefox 52.3.0 32 Bit - AV running in the backgound: Bitdefender Free 126.96.36.1999 updated today; Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit Beta 188.8.131.52 updated - AV on-demand: Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free 184.108.40.2063 updated - Plugins: as per list below
I initially suspected an exploit/ malware, but did not find an evidence as of now. Course of action suggested? Thanks.
Hi Josh, thanks for the advice. Tried the steps you recommended and the issue did not present itself since last week. Will keep you posted in case of any further issue.Read this answer in context 1
Additional System Details
- Adobe PDF Plug-In For Firefox and Netscape 10.1.11
- DivX Plus Web Player version 220.127.116.11
- DivX VOD Helper Plug-in
- Facebook Video Calling Plugin
- Google Update
- NPRuntime Script Plug-in Library for Java(TM) Deploy
- Next Generation Java Plug-in 11.71.2 for Mozilla browsers
- The plug-in allows you to open and edit files using Microsoft Office applications
- Office Authorization plug-in for NPAPI browsers
- DRM Netscape Network Object
- DRM Store Netscape Plugin
- The QuickTime Plugin allows you to view a wide variety of multimedia content in Web pages. For more information, visit the QuickTime Web site.
- RealPlayer(tm) LiveConnect-Enabled Plug-In
- Shockwave Flash 26.0 r0
- VLC media player Web Plugin
- Npdsplay dll
- Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) plug-in for Mozilla browsers
- iTunes Detector Plug-in
- User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 5.1; rv:52.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/52.0
If you know when the crash happened, you might see if you can find suspicious logs in your event viewer. There might be a log for your antivirus too. Sounds like there was some code your AV found suspicious and safely closed the program, thus not triggering a "crash".
Thanks for the hints. I had a look at the event log but found nothing weird. However, I refreshed Firefox and installed a new AV. It's 2 days now the issue does not happen again. Will kee teh situation monitored and report any other incident. Thx
Thanks for keeping us updated. It could be part of some malicious code. I am not sure how much of the steps are going to work on Windows XP, but just in case, can you try the following?
1. Check your browser for any add-ons or extensions you do not recognize and remove them. 2. Check your installed programs and see if there isn't anything suspicious that was installed lately (If there is, simply remove them). 3. Install any popular antivirus and do a quick scan (Majority of the providers do have free versions of their software). Or just use Windows Defender. It works really well in most cases. 4. Install and scan your PC with Malwarebytes and Hitman Pro to clean most adware.
Hi Josh, thanks for the advice. Tried the steps you recommended and the issue did not present itself since last week. Will keep you posted in case of any further issue.