Norton Making Firefox Crash

My stepfather recently sent me an email:

Firefox keeps crashing and I keep receiving an apology and having to restore things. I switched off my computer and downloaded a new Firefox file but things are still the same.

I asked him for 10 crash signatures from about:crashes (sidenote: why does the “copy raw data to clipboard” button on about:support not also copy data about the last 10 crashes?) and found that the crash was in a DLL belonging to Norton Confidential. Symantec say they should have a fix by the end of the month. (Incidentally, Socorro is awesome.) Although I don’t know what their update uptake rate is.

There are loads of reports in SUMO about this. Scoobidiver says that this issue alone accounts for 8% of all Firefox 18 crashes. Every time this happens, I wonder how many people, who do not have Mozilla employees in their family to email, simply give up on Firefox because “it keeps crashing”, not knowing that a) it’s not our fault and b) there may be a fix coming in a few weeks?

Should we be even more aggressive in blocking crashy binary addons as soon as we see a crash-stats spike?

[Update: here’s his follow-up:

I have Norton 360 but if I disable it while on Firefox, does this leave me vulnerable? Would I be better using Internet Explorer and waiting for the system to be fixed?

Norton Confidential actually does password encryption (?) and phishing protection (which we already have), but people are scared to disable any of this stuff because the anti-virus companies have made them afraid.

Another comedy point: look at the titles of the top 4 Google hits for “Norton Confidential.]