Published: Thu, October 12, 2017
Research | By Jennifer Evans

Fake Adblock Plus extension downloaded from Chrome Store over 37000 times

Fake Adblock Plus extension downloaded from Chrome Store over 37000 times

Regardless, Google shouldn't be letting this sort of phony extension slip through the net, and hopefully a review of Chrome store moderation procedures will be underway as we type...

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

In a blog post, the real Adblock Plus said it was glad the fake extension was pulled down, but added "It's a bit troubling, of course, that it made it in there in the first place".

Google has since taken action to remove the fake version of Adblock Plus from the Web Store, but users should make sure the version of the ad blocker they are running is legitimate. That is not all as 37,000 users are also reported to have downloaded and installed the extension as well. The extension had the same name as the official Adblock Plus - which has more than 10 million users - except for a capitalised "b".

So far, Google hasn't commented on why its Chrome Web Store failed to notice the dubious nature of the software in the first place.

In 2014, Google blogged about the problem and mentioned how fake Chrome extensions could inject ads or secretly track your PC's activity. In 2015, Google blocked Windows and Mac users from installing Chrome extensions from sources other than its official store in an effort to reduce the spread of malicious software add-ons. Reportedly, the search giant is already working on the ad-blocking feature, which will be unveiled for the Chrome users soon.

It's not clear how the fake ad blocker was able to get past Google's security protocols.

'This is one of those particular times when reading the reviews could have stopped anyone being a victim, but the extension is probably so well known the very name itself would have pushed your mouse pointer to the install button without even checking the reviews.

Hallelujah. Starting in January 2018, Chrome is going to save us from autoplay videos. However, this capability will come to Chrome somewhere in January next year.

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