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article imageGoogle disables ad-injecting Chrome extensions; many are malware

By James Walker     Apr 1, 2015 in Technology
Google has removed nearly 200 extensions for its Chrome browser from the store after finding that they inject adverts into webpages and in many cases expose users to malicious software. In any case, the extensions ruined the experience of web browsing.
Software that injects extra adverts onto webpages can be very annoying. You can expect to be inundated with popup messages and intrusive sidebars that are added to ordinarily safe websites. Google says that Chrome users have made over 100,00 complaints since the beginning of 2015 which is the largest number on any single issue in Chrome.
A webpage that an ad injector has worked on
A webpage that an ad injector has worked on
The company notes that ad injection is not normally endorsed by the advertisers. The practice ruins the entire system of advertising online by annoying unsuspecting users with intrusive messages. Advertisers don't know where their ads are used and can lose out on revenue.
Researchers at Google have now uncovered 192 deceptive Chrome extensions that do not make their ad-injecting components clear. Google has removed them from the store and incorporated new techniques to prevent them returning. They collectively had 14 million users.
The study was conducted with the University of California Berkeley and looked at 100 million pageviews of Google sites across various operating systems and browsers. Ad injectors were detected across all of the operating systems and browsers in the test and more than 5 percent of people visiting Google sites had at least one installed.
The company intends to release more detail on May 1st that will examine ad injectors and how they operate in more depth. In the meantime, all new and updated extensions for Chrome will be scanned with new techniques to ensure that they are safe.
The issue is large as 34 percent of the extensions found to inject adverts were classified as malware outright and could have installed other malicious software onto users' computers. Therefore it is encouraging to see Google taking a proactive stance against yet another kind of harmful unwanted software.
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