Google Chrome Material Icon 450x450A fraudulent browser extension was downloaded by 37,000 Chrome users after it sneaked past Google's Web Store vetting processes, it emerged on Tuesday.

The fake extension was listed on the official Web Store until today and masqueraded as popular legitimate extension AdBlock Plus, which has over 10 million users. Once installed, the fake reportedly swamps infected computers with adverts and opens up tabs without the user's permission.

The existence of the fake extension was revealed by anonymous cyber security personality @SwiftOnSecurity, but it's still not entirely clear if the fake compromised the data of the 37,000-odd users who inadvertently installed it on their browsers.

Back in 2015, Google officially blocked Mac users from downloading Chrome extensions not hosted in its official Web Store, over concerns that malicious extensions were becoming rife.

Given this latest breach of Google's vetting system, Chrome users are advised to carefully check the developer information of extensions before downloading them to ensure they are legitimate and not spoofing popular browser add-ons. We'll update this article if Google provides clarity on what went wrong this time around.

Tag: Chrome

Top Rated Comments

Traverse Avatar
56 months ago
Good thing the majority of Mac users don't touch chrome with a 10 foot pole.
I don’t know. I think many casual Mac users and extreme power users probably use Chrome
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JosephAW Avatar
56 months ago
Good thing the majority of Mac users don't touch chrome with a 10 foot pole.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dmylrea Avatar
56 months ago
Good thing the majority of Mac users don't touch chrome with a 10 foot pole.
Not by much, though. According to this article ('http://www.zdnet.com/article/which-browser-is-most-popular-on-each-major-operating-system/') from 2016, 51.8% of MacOS users use Safari vs. 36.2% use Chrome. So not a majority, but 36.2% is quite a few. 2017 stats would probably show more using Chrome.

EDIT: Haha, 69Mustang! You beat me to it by a couple minutes!!! :)
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
johannnn Avatar
56 months ago
Relevant rant. I really wish Apple drops the $99 developer price. There are so many small nifty apps and Safari extensions that are not hosted by Apple because the developer don't want to pay $99 per year. Which means I have to trust 1) their code, and 2) their servers. Would be much better if Apple vetted everything (stuff can sneak through, as seen in this article, but at least there is a vetting process).
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
maflynn Avatar
56 months ago
Ugh, I'm so careful of extensions I have in Chrome. On my work computer, I have none, and I think at home, I limit it to 1 or 2. I'm glad I dodged this bullet.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
canadianreader Avatar
56 months ago
Good that I use Safari
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iPhone 14 Mock pill and hole thumb

ProMotion Now Expected to Remain Exclusive to iPhone 14 Pro Models, Not Expand to Entire Lineup

Sunday January 16, 2022 8:56 am PST by
Continuing the tradition set with the iPhone 13 Pro, only the highest-end iPhone 14 models will feature Apple's ProMotion display technology, according to a respected display analyst. Ross Young, who on multiple occasions has detailed accurate information about Apple's future products, said in a tweet that ProMotion will not be expanded to the entire iPhone 14 lineup and will remain...
safari icon blue banner

Safari Bug Allows Websites to Track Your Recent Browsing Activity in Real Time [Updated]

Sunday January 16, 2022 3:37 pm PST by
A bug in WebKit's implementation of a JavaScript API called IndexedDB can reveal your recent browsing history and even your identity, according to a blog post shared on Friday by browser fingerprinting service FingerprintJS. In a nutshell, the bug allows any website that uses IndexedDB to access the names of IndexedDB databases generated by other websites during a user's browsing session....
ipad air 4 video

New iPad Air Rumored to Launch This Spring With A15 Chip, 5G, Center Stage Camera, and More

Saturday January 15, 2022 8:05 pm PST by
Apple is planning to release a fifth-generation iPad Air with similar features as the sixth-generation iPad mini, including an A15 Bionic chip, 12-megapixel Ultra Wide front camera with Center Stage support, 5G for cellular models, and Quad-LED True Tone flash, according to Japanese blog Mac Otakara. Citing reliables sources in China, the report claims that the new iPad Air could be...
Unlikely Products 2022 Feature

Six Rumored Apple Products You're Unlikely to See This Year

Saturday January 15, 2022 2:06 pm PST by
Much has been said about what consumers could see from Apple in 2022, but the company is also working on a handful of rumored products that aren't expected to be unveiled for at least another 12 months, and in some cases a lot longer. Of course, that's assuming they get released at all. Apple works on many potential products some of which ultimately never see the light of day. With that in...
AirPods Pro Gen 3 Mock Feature Red

AirPods Pro 2 Could Start a New Accessory Ecosystem

Friday January 14, 2022 2:34 am PST by
Apple's second-generation AirPods Pro could arrive alongside a new series of accessories, recent leaked images suggest. Alleged leaked photos of the next-generation AirPods Pro obtained by MacRumors showed a charging case with a metal loop on the side for attaching a strap. Apple has not used this design for any of its other AirPod models and it is unclear why it would be added in this...
netflix2

Netflix Again Raises Prices for All Plans, 4K Streaming Now $20 Per Month

Friday January 14, 2022 12:46 pm PST by
Netflix today updated the prices for its streaming plans, and all of its offerings are now more expensive. The Basic plan is now priced at $9.99 per month, the Standard plan is priced at $15.49 per month, and the Premium plan is priced at $19.99 per month. The Basic plan is $1 more expensive, up from $8.99 per month. This plan allows users to watch on just one screen at a time, and it limits ...
tesla carplay solution

Developer Showcases Apple CarPlay Workaround for Teslas

Monday January 17, 2022 7:24 am PST by
A Tesla Model 3 owner has resorted to a workaround to implement Apple CarPlay in his vehicle, amid no sign of official support from Tesla (via Tesla North). Apple CarPlay and Apple Music support are among the most-requested Tesla features, but with no indication that Tesla is willing to implement Apple CarPlay in its vehicles, Polish developer Michał Gapiński took matters into his own...
top stories 20220115

Top Stories: iPhone 14 Pro Rumors, iCloud Private Relay Controversy, iOS 15.2.1 Released, and More

Saturday January 15, 2022 6:00 am PST by
Hole-punch? Pill? Hole-punch and pill? Rumors about what the front camera system on the iPhone 14 Pro will look like are evolving rapidly, and it now appears we might be getting a novel but potentially controversial design later this year. Other major stories this week included some confusion and controversy about iCloud Private Relay being disabled for some T-Mobile customers, increasing...