Mozilla Firefox users were surprised to see a mysterious add-on suddenly appear on their browsers, raising fears that it was the work of hackers.
The add-on was later discovered to really be related to hackers but was harmless, as it was a viral marketing stunt gone wrong for the hit TV show, Mr. Robot.
Looking Glass 1.0.3 Infiltrates Mozilla Firefox
Earlier this week, an add-on named Looking Glass 1.0.3 started appearing in Mozilla Firefox browsers. The only description for the add-on was text that read "MY REALITY IS JUST DIFFERENT THAN YOURS" accompanied by the names of its creators.
Firefox users, who were worried that they were hacked, started digging around to find out what the add-on was all about. It was discovered and later confirmed by Mozilla that the mysterious add-on was part of a so-called "alternate reality game" promoting the popular hacker drama Mr. Robot. Looking Glass, however, does not really do anything until users decide to join the game.
Did The 'Mr. Robot' Marketing Stunt Go Overboard?
For Mr. Robot fans, there is obvious synergy between marketing for the show and an internet browser. The problem, however, is that not all Firefox users watch the show, which made the add-on cause unneeded concern.
In the official support page for Looking Glass, Mozilla defended the tie-up with Mr. Robot because the show promotes the importance of online privacy and security.
However, reading through the Reddit thread on the topic shows the massive backlash against the marketing stunt. One of the main problems that Firefox users have with the promotion is that Mozilla installed the add-on to Firefox browsers without asking for permission from users. For users who have no idea what Mr. Robot is all about, Looking Glass suddenly appearing on their internet browser really looks like their computer was infected with malware.
In fact, some Mozilla employees were unhappy about the partnership with Mr. Robot. Steve Klabnik, a software developer for the company, asked how Mozilla can claim to protect privacy when it sneaks software into the computers of its users.
How To Remove Looking Glass Add-On
Fortunately, the add-on is easy to remove. Users can simply access the Firefox menu, go into their Add-ons, and click on the extensions tab. Looking Glass will be there, with the Remove option.
The issue with the add-on, however, is not how easy it is to remove it, but rather that it is there in the first place. With the gaffe, Mozilla likely lost momentum on the launch of its Quantum browser, and now has another issue to deal with in addition to the legal battle with Yahoo.