In geekier circles, Mr. Robot is one of the most popular television shows on the planet. It's well-written, well-acted, and most importantly, it's captivating. That said, the show isn't necessarily universally well-known and perhaps its most recent publicity effort just went a little too far. It was with great surprise in fact, that many Firefox users have found a mysterious "Looking Glass" extension installed in their browser, without their consent.
To end the current season of Mr. Robot off with a little surprise, Mozilla teamed up with the team behind the show to create a little mini-game that could be played inside of the browser. For fans of the show, this extension could have possibly seemed obvious, given the timing but for everyone else? Over at reddit, users complained about the time wasted trying to figure out what kind of malware found their way into the browser, oblivious at first that it was Mozilla itself responsible for adding it in.
Mozilla is very clear about the fact that this Looking Glass extension doesn't spy on users or feed data back to the company, but that's only half of the problem here. If you're on top of your security, the first thing you'd probably think when seeing this random extension is that malware has found its way onto your system. In this particular instance, Googling the extension name would only help so much offering little insight. You can imagine the frustration of finding some out-of-nowhere extension and then be unable to find information about it online.
Today, of course, things are different. The issue has been raised so there's plenty of info online at this point. If you do find the extension in your browser, there's nothing to be worried about, at least outside of the fact that Mozilla saw it fit to give you something you didn't ask for. What's worse is that the description of the extension sounds so ominous, it's not hard to understand why people were concerned. "My reality is just different than yours" doesn't inspire much confidence.
If this all feels oddly familiar, just three years ago, Apple took it upon itself to give every single iTunes user a free copy of a U2 album. U2 fans were likely thrilled, but everyone else wasn't. Mozilla clearly didn't pay much attention to that debacle, because the rage was real, and it seemed likely that anyone paying attention to the whole ordeal would learn and tread carefully. Not so, apparently.