A fake add-on called Adblock Plus appeared in the Google store. Instead of blocking the ads, they displayed even more. Google has already removed the extension, pretending to be a popular blocker, but by then the plug had hit many computers.

Why was a fake add-on able to get through the verification screen for plug-in scripts that were published in the Chrome Web Store? Because it did not contain any malicious procedures or other malware-specific features. Only when SwiftOnSecurity, a data security specialist, posted a post on Twitter warning of false Adblock, Google responded. The plug has disappeared from Chrome. However, it is estimated that at least 37,000 Internet users using this browser downloaded until the removal.

How did fake ad blockers work? In fact, it should be called AdUnblock Plus, because instead of blocking ads … it displayed much more. However, SwiftOnSecurity points to the fact that similar fake extensions do not in themselves contain any malicious or destructive routines, nor do they steal user data – negatively impacting the opinion of manufacturers or developers of original plugins.

Less experienced users have been fooled and have installed a fake extension (photo: SwiftOnSecurity).

How to distinguish a false extension, which has the same name, from the proper? It is worth checking the number of installations. When it comes to popular plugins, the value goes to hundreds of thousands and more. If they are clearly less, this should raise our suspicions. Another thing: Internet users’ opinions – they may be written on demand, but in the case of an extension that is different from the original, users will quickly find out that something is wrong and report it in the comments.

  • Todd Hendrix

    Wouldn’t just posting an app with the exact same name as another be stopped by the Store?