In an unprecedented event, a fraudulent chrome browser extension, that imitated a highly popular ad-blocking browser extension, has tricked around an estimated 37000 users to download and install it from the chrome web store.
This fraudulent Adblock Plus chrome browser extension had used the similar name as that of the genuine one except the letter b is written in capital B. This minor change would normally not be noticed by the users and it was also the fact that the rogue extension had the same developer’s name. This fake chrome browser extension had a fair amount of reviews, which actually made it more convincing to download and install it.
A cybersecurity organization brought this to Google’s notice and Google immediately responded and removed the adware from Google’s store. Some amount of damage was expected to be done as around 40000 users have downloaded it. Although it was not clear how much damage can this rogue extension do, there were reports coming in that, people who have installed the Chrome browser extension, had their chrome browser cluttered with multiple tabs being opened with adverts.
The developer, of the original Adblock Plus chrome browser extension, has advised the users on how to detect and uninstall the rogue extension. He said that users should go to Chrome > More Tools > Extensions and see whether it is an app or an extension. This phony app will be shown as an app and not as an extension. The developer further advised that to be perfectly sure, the users should uninstall the current extension and again install the original Adblock Plus extension, as Google has already removed the fake one from its store.
It is our advice that while downloading and installing any software, users should be extra careful as malicious viruses and malware roam the internet and therefore extreme care should be taken.