When Mozilla detects serious security or stability issues in add-ons or plugins, it may decide to block them for all users of the browser. A security vulnerability has recently been discovered in Ubisoft's Uplay software which can be exploited by third parties. The majority of online magazines and reports call it a rootkit, which is not the really the term that should be used to describe the software. Unlike rootkits, the program does not attempt to hide the functionality on the system, and it is much more likely that it is simply code that has not been tested enough.
When PC users install a Ubisoft game that makes use of the UPlay networking service, a browser plugin may be installed on the system as part of the process. It is not really clear what the plugin is being used for at all, and disabling it should not have any effect on the games requiring UPlay.
As far as games go, it is used by Assassin's Creed games, Homam VI, the Tom Clancy series and several other games. It may also depend on where you have purchased the game on, as some versions of the mentioned games may come without Uplay after all.
Sites like Rock Paper Shotgun quickly advised users to turn off the plug-in in their web browser of choice
Reports suggest that Ubisoft may have resolved the issue by pushing out an update to Uplay that brings the version of the application to 2.04. At the time of writing, it is however not clear if the update resolves the issue completely.
Mozilla in the meantime has added Ubisoft Uplay to the blocklist of the Firefox browser which effectively blocks the plugin from being loaded when the browser starts. Being on the blocklist furthermore blocks the plugin from being installed in the browser.
I'd still recommend to remove the plugin from any browser it may be installed in just to be on the safe side.
Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.
We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats (video ads) or subscription fees.
If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.