Skype/Browser Highlighter extensions for Firefox…beware

Back story: I am doing a basic redesign for a friend of mine’s father. He has a financial newsletter and HAD a website with a .com that expired, which then was picked up by a domain sitter type company. He then bought the .net and wanted his old site up, but it was done in Cold Fusion, and I am pretty sure you need a special server for that. So I am redoing it in php. It was so bad looking, I couldn’t take looking at it anymore (we are talking 90′s look here), so I went with a clean and easy new look.

Anyway, I put the home page up, which has an order toll free tagline on it it, with a phone number. The crazy thing is, the stupid number would NOT show up. I thought NetBeans (IDE I use) was blocking something. After an hour of screwing around and not finding the issue, I go to bed. Next day, I am at work, and looked at it quickly there. And I’ll be damned if the number is there! At that point, I was thoroughly confused. Same Firefox 3.6.

I check firebug, everything looks fine. I go home, check firebug….and WHAT THE HELL IS THAT!? Something was putting a javascript file in, that isn’t mine, and two hidden inputs at the bottom of the html. Funny thing is, it doesn’t show up when you view the source.

I then use google to search for a bunch of different terms, and finally get the answer.

I’m not sure how I got the actual plugin, because I don’t remember downloading it. But I had the Skype extension installed and enabled, AND the Browser Highlighter addon (an extension by ebay). I disable both of these, and the scripts and inputs disappear, and the phone number on the page is now showing.

I have no idea what the hell these two were doing to Firefox to make it behave like that, but adding javascript to my page that wasn’t mine is very freaking bad. No idea what they did, but they are now gone. So a warning to all of you out there that are having any weird issues with displaying things in FF, see if you have either/both of those addons and disable the HELL OUT OF THEM!

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