Over 37,000 Google Chrome users have downloaded a phony AdBlock extension

October 11th, 2017

Some worrisome news has surfaced in regard to the cyber security of tens of thousands of Google Chrome browser users recently. It turns out that up until just a few days ago, a phony Chrome extension available at Google Chrome web store which has been already downloaded by more than 37,000 users has put into danger their personal data and online security. The browser add-on mimics the popular add blocking browser extension AdBlock Plus, according to the anonymous Twitter account named @SwiftOnSecurity.

 

phony AdBlock extension

 

The question remains about how Google has allowed this misleading and false add on into its browser extension store, given the extensive vetting process the Internet giant claims to have for every single browser plug in being offered for its internet browser at its official extension store.

Also, this disturbing news put more pressure on the users themselves who will now need to provide special attention and carefully check the browser add-on developers of each plugin they choose to download and install for their Chrome browser.

What the anonymous source claims

According to the anonymous cyber security account, the false browser extension has been developed in a way so that it looks almost the same as the popular AdBlock Plus plugin. The legitimate ad blocking extension is one of the most popular ones worldwide, and is currently being used by more than 10 million people around the globe.

The original AdBlock Plus is developed by the reputable browser add-on developers from adblockplus.org. Unfortunately, there is no official data or a clear answer to the question about what kind of personal data or other possible damage has been done to the users who have been tricked to download and install the fraudulent extension for their Chrome browser.

Previous cases of security breaches

Unfortunately, this is not the first instance when Google has failed to guarantee the cyber safety of the users of the most popular internet browser in the world Google Chrome. Back in 2015, Google officially blocked both Windows and Mac users from access and the ability to download and install browser extensions for their Chrome browser, unless they were listed in the official Chrome web store – owned and controlled by Google. This step taken by the internet giant was proof that there had been cases of developers creating and promoting malicious and otherwise harmful add-ons for Google Chrome before. The company then commented that the requests for support for uninstalling unwanted Chrome extensions at the time, dropped by about 75% after the new official policy was introduced for Windows users.

This news comes after numerous instances of phishing attacks which occurred earlier in 2017 which actually spoofed Google itself and tricked numerous users around the world to share or give access to private data to the attackers. One case involved an attacker who created a third party web extension called “Google Docs”, which tricked the users into installing it and into agreeing to give permission for the add-on to access their Gmail accounts and their address book.

Since these instances, Google has been claiming to be doing everything possible to limit and eliminate future such attacks and spoofing incidents for its Google Chrome users worldwide.

The Internet giant has still not made an official announcement about the latest news about the false AdBlock browser extension security problem.

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