While the installation of ad blocking extensions is becoming the norm for everyday web surfers, the number of impossible and malicious browser extensions has increased alongside them, taking advantage of less expert users.
AdGuard, a company that offers its own payments ad blocking service, has published a report that lists five fake extensions that have topped the Chrome Web Store and that millions of users have installed.
These malicious extensions unwanted keywords and code scale ranges in the search results of phrases like & # 39; adblocker & # 39; and & # 39; ad unit & # 39; and, considering their names and appearance relatively similar to legitimate extensions, they end up being downloaded by users.
AdGuard reports that more than 20 million users in total have downloaded and installed the five extensions, with one in particular surpassing 10 million downloads.
Fake extensions seem to do what they say on the can while they use copied the code from legitimate blockers, cloning their functionality completely. The key, however, is that they add their own malicious code to gain access to browsers and user information.
The five extensions mentioned in the AdGuard report have been deleted by Google. While two of them are not strictly adblocking, they abuse the same exploit. Here is the list:
- AdRemover for Google Chrome ™
- uBlock Plus
- Adblock Pro
- HD for YouTube ™
If you plan to use an ad blocker, it's worth doing a Little background research on browser extensions before installing them to make sure they have well-known authors and are recommended by reputable sources.