Google Chrome users tricked into downloading fake ad blocker

Chrome OS 61 Is Updated With a New-Look Login Screen and Visual Appearance

Chrome OS 61 Is Updated With a New-Look Login Screen and Visual Appearance

Google later confirmed the fraudulent app had been removed from the Chrome Web Store. Taking advantage of this, fraudulent developers pushed a fake version of the Adblock Plus extension into the Chrome Web Store, bypassing Google's checks and filters.

So, here's what happened: a developer whose name is "Adblock Plus" created an extension that looks exactly like the real Adblock Plus extension, complete with the logo and other visual elements. Back in 2015, it blocked users from downloading extensions that were not listed in the Chrome Web Store, which proved to be the right decision. Although it can be hard if not impossible to spot every one, it's clear that the company has to upgrade its verification process to further minimize the chances of malicious software making its way to the Chrome Web Store.

It appears that the "fraudulent developer" behind the fake extension managed to spoof the store's ranking algorithm by spamming the listing with keyword hashtags.

At the time, SwiftOnSecurity reported, nearly 37,000 people had already downloaded this application.

A screengrab of a user review (embedded below) also suggests that the illegitimate extension opens "invasive" ads in new browser tabs once installed. After doing so, Google claimed that it saw a 75 percent drop in the amount of support requests for removing unwanted extensions - for Windows users, at least. So if you've recently downloaded it, the best thing to do is to uninstall it, and then download the real one from the Chrome Store.

As the researcher points out in a Twitter tirade aimed at Google's staff, the problem is that Google allowed another developer to upload an extension using the same name as AdBlock Plus, a very popular ad blocker for Chrome.

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