37K Chrome Users Duped into Downloading Fake Adblock Plus Extension

For they are using Adblock Plus adjacent with Google Chrome web browser or newly installed its extension, here is unusual bad news for them. A crooked developer cloned fake Adblock Plus extension for Chrome and successfully bypassed Google confirmation process ending up getting over 37,000 downloads.

The extension continued ready to download by the new one until it was raised by Google after getting signals from Swift On Security, a researcher who tweeted that “Google allows 37,000 Chrome users to be tricked with a false extension by a crooked developer who clones popular name and spams keywords.”

Google allows 37,000 Chrome users to be tricked with a fake extension by fraudulent developer who clones popular name and spams keywords. pic.twitter.com/ZtY5WpSgLt

— SwiftOnSecurity (@SwiftOnSecurity) October 9, 2017

Google allows 37,000 Chrome users to be cheated with a fake extension by a crooked developer who clones famous name and spams keywords.

Swift On Security bashed Google for its easy confirmation method that lets spammers play with legitimate developers. “Legitimate developers just have to sit back and watch as Google smears them with fake extensions that steal their good name,” said the tweet.

The totality of users you downloaded the false branch said that upon connecting the extension, their browser was spammed with ads. However, it is unclear if it dropped any malware or other malicious payloads since the extension has already been removed.

Google allows 37,000 Chrome users to be tricked with a fake extension by fraudulent developer who clones popular name and spams keywords. pic.twitter.com/ZtY5WpSgLt

— SwiftOnSecurity (@SwiftOnSecurity) October 9, 2017

Adblock Plus, on the other hand, has thanked SwiftOnSecurity for alerting users about fake AdBlock Plus extension. the official blog post-Mr.Ben Williams wrote “We’ve been following this story carefully, and were pleased to see how quickly the false extension was kicked out. It’s a bit troubling, of course, that it made it in there in the first place. Because of this, we’ve stayed on top of would-be scammers for years now, so that you can trust what you’re getting is actually what you want.”

If you have installed the fake Adblock Plus, go to Chrome > More Tools > Extensions and make sure to check its developer’s credentials on Chrome web store.

This is not the first time when a Google Chrome extension has created havoc. A couple of months ago, 7 Chrome extensions were compromised by hackers to conduct malvertising campaign while Google’s security made a laughing stock of itself.