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Google Cracks Down on Chrome Adware by Blocking Extensions

by Jacob Kleinman | January 20, 2014January 20, 2014 10:00 pm PST

Google Chrome logo

Google’s Chrome browser is under attack from a new threat: pop-ups and other adware served directly to its users through compromised Chrome extensions. In response, the company recently removed two extensions, Add to Feedly and Tweet This Page, from its online store after they were purchased by new companies with the singular purpose of spamming ads.

The decision is just the latest bit of news as this story of Chrome-infiltrating ads continues to develop. In most cases, alleged malware peddlers offer to buy popular Chrome extensions for as much as much as $10,000. Once the deal goes through, the add-on is silently updated to spam ads or worse.

Besides blocking individual extensions as they’re exposed, it’s unclear how Google will move to keep its Chrome browser safe from adware. Some have called for Google to wall off the Chrome webstore and vet every new extension, similar to how Apple’s App Store works, though this seems unlikely. In the meantime, one Reddit user has offered up a list of compromised extensions that’s definitely worth looking at if you use Google’s browser on a regular basis.


Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...