Google bans Chrome extensions for serving rogue ads

Google has banned two extensions from the Chrome Web Store following outrage from users for serving adware under the pretext of sharing links to various sites.

The extensions in question are "Add to Feedly" and "Tweet this Page" which were quite useful for sharing links until they were bought out by malware developers who started replacing the links with pop-under and rogue advertisements. According to Amit Agrawal, the developer of "Add to Feedly," an unknown company bought the extension from him for an undisclosed four figure sum and inserted their own malware injection code into it. Another developer of an extension called "Honey" turned down the purchase offer from a malware company and conducted a Reddit IAmA about his experience.

In response to complaints from users in the reviews of the extensions and on multiple internet forums, Google removed the extensions and has cited its policy update from December regarding submissions to the Chrome Web Store. According to Google, extensions must have a single purpose and must not be used to deliver spam or adware.

While the problem isn't limited to Chrome, as a Firefox extension was also reported to be carrying malicious code in the past, it's good to see that Google have responded to threats emerging through the Chrome Web Store in a prompt manner.

Source: WSJ via The Verge | Image via Ars Technica

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