INTRO: Apart from the array of useful features, Google’s web browser, Chrome is also popular for its plethora of extensions. Now, although these extensions can be pretty useful, they can also pose as threats for your PC sometimes. We have seen Google remove hundreds of malicious extensions from the Chrome Web Store earlier this year. So now, an ad-blocking company has discovered as many as 295 malicious extensions on the Chrome Web Store.
According to a recent report, a staff of AdGuard, a company that provides ad-blocking solutions, while searching for fake ad-blocking extensions existing on the official Chrome Web Store found around 295 malicious extensions on the platform. Along with fake ad-blockers, there are malicious extensions posing as weather widgets and screenshot capture tools.
Folks at ZDNet received a technical analysis of the extensions from AdGuard. According to this analysis report, all the extensions used a domain named “fly-analystics.com” to load the malicious code. After that, the extensions sneakily infused ads into Google and Bing search results.
Now, the concerning part is that these extensions are openly available on the Chrome Web Store for free. And according to the report, more than 80 million users have at least one of the 295 malicious extensions installed in their browsers.
However, the CTO and Co-founder of AdGuard, Andrey Meshkov recently shared a tweet (below) bashing Google for letting these extensions remain on the Store after a number of complaints. He even shared a long blog post detailing their research.
I honestly tried reporting this to Google using different channels, but weeks passed and they all are still on Chrome Web Store.
— Andrey Meshkov (@ay_meshkov) August 4, 2020
So, after receiving the technical analysis report, ZDNet executives reached out to the Chrome Web Store support team. Following their complaint and Meshkov’s blog post, the extensions were taken down from the Chrome Web Store.