Published: Tue, October 10, 2017
Hi-Tech | By Grace Becker

Fraudulent ad-blocking extension tricks 37000 Google Chrome users

Fraudulent ad-blocking extension tricks 37000 Google Chrome users

Apparently, a fake Adblock Plus extension made it through Google's verification process and lived in the official Chrome Web Store alongside the real one.

It isn't yet clear if the fake extension had malicious intentions, but Google's failure to spot it is extremely concerning regardless, both for users and developers. One such popular extension was mimicked by a phony extension, which was available on Chrome for download until now.

Spotted by Twitter cyber security personality SwiftOnSecurity, the dodgy extension has been downloaded by some 37,000 people.

If you use Adblock Plus with Chrome and downloaded the extension pretty recently, you may want to check what you've installed.

However, those users who were tricked into downloading the fraudulent version of the web browser should immediately uninstall it.

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SwiftOnSecurity claims the fake extension was created by a "fraudulent developer who clones popular name and spams keywords".

Google later confirmed the fraudulent app had been removed from the Chrome Web Store. The company said at the time that it received 75 percent fewer support requests from users regarding unwanted extensions.

The dodgy extension reportedly swamps infected people with adverts and opens up extrs tabs without the permission of the user.

Google has always had problems with malicious Chrome extensions. Although it can be hard if not impossible to spot every one, it's clear that the company has to upgrade its verification process to further minimize the chances of malicious software making its way to the Chrome Web Store.

In addition, to further enhance the user experience, Google is also bringing a capability to Chrome to mute irksome autoplay videos.

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