Nearly three-hundred Chrome browser extensions with 80 million installs have been caught injecting fake ads onto the SERP…
Extensions are supposed to perform a number of functions to make internet browsing a better experience. These tiny software packages offer a very wide variety of operations, from speeding up load times to finding coupon codes and deals.
Of course, with legitimate uses come the exploitative ones. Recently, AdGuard found no fewer than 295 Chrome extensions posing as genuine tools but were actually injecting phony ads onto the search results pages of both Google and Bing. What’s more, these have been downloaded at least 80 million times, with a good portion of them ironically disguised as ad-blockers.
Google Chrome Extensions with 80 Million Installs Caught Injecting Phony Ads
Not all of the corrupt Chrome extensions displayed fake ads on the SERP, though. Others spat out false affiliate cookies and still some merely served to serve up nothing less than spam. They ostensibly performed such tasks as offering wallpapers and new tab themes but these were only ploys to get people to install them.
Since being uncovered, Google has removed the bad actors from the Chrome Web Store. But, this only spares future victims and does nothing for the eighty million folks who have already added the plugins to their accounts. So, look over the full list to ensure none of them are running and waiting to do their dirty work.