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Malware is now common in the Chrome Web Store. This story was originally published on Nov. Chrome OS, which is based on the browser, is one of the safest operating systems in widespread use. So, then, why is Google doing such a poor job of screening Chrome extensions?
Chrome Has a Malware Problem, and Google Needs to Fix It
Malware is now common in the Chrome Web Store. This story was originally published on Nov. Chrome OS, which is based on the browser, is one of the safest operating systems in widespread use. So, then, why is Google doing such a poor job of screening Chrome extensions? Image credit: We assume all these extensions are safe. Some loaded adware and took users to sleazy websites.
Others stole personal data or used victims’ computers to “mine” cryptocurrencies. Somehow, they all got through Google’s mostly automated screening process. If Google lets this continue, the Chrome Web Store, and Chrome in general, could end up as riddled with malware as Android, whose Google Play marketplace also has an automated app-screening process of questionable efficiency.
And if the Chrome browser falls, then so does Chrome OS, which millions of schoolkids use on their Chromebooks. Google needs to fix this problem now. This has been the case for years now, and it doesn’t seem like Google is doing much about it.
If you log into Facebook with that malicious extension loaded, it can steal your Facebook token and take over your Facebook page. This past week, Lawrence Abrams at Bleeping Computer wrote about an image-downloading Chrome extension that loaded adware into the browser and took users to various sleazy websites.
Abrams reported the extension to the Chrome developers, but on Friday afternoon, Nov. It’s since been taken down. On Ghacks. The extension was not in the Chrome Web Store, but the malware easily disabled Chrome’s restrictions so that non-Web Store software could be installed. Google knows, but is that enough? We contacted Google about this recurring problem, and a Google spokeswoman pointed us to a recent posting on the official Chromium developer blog regarding a phony AdBlock Plus extension.
Chromium is the open-source browser underpinning Chrome, and most Chrome software development actually takes place in Chromium. The Google spokeswoman also directed us to an academic paper published by Google researchers in mid entitled ” Trends and Lessons from Three Years Fighting Malicious Extensions. That’s admirable, but those extensions should never have made it into the store in the first place.
Is it impossible to keep malware out of an app store or an extension store? Perhaps, but Apple has come close to pulling it off — the number of known incidents involving malicious apps found in the iOS App Store over the past decade has not yet reached double digits. How to fix this hint — it costs money There is a simple way to solve this problem, but it’s slow and expensive.
Google needs to have humans manually run and review every single Chrome Web Store extension, rather than have machines sort out the bad-looking ones, let the rest go live and rely on bad user reviews to flag any further problems.
Human app review is what Mozilla does with Firefox’s extension repository, and what Apple does with iOS apps. Implementing human review of every extension might greatly reduce the number of extensions that get approved every day for the Chrome Web Store.
It might make some developers grumble. It will cost Google a lot to hire more extension testers. But the alternative is to let the Chrome malware problem get worse — and to threaten the market shares of Chrome and Chrome OS, and the security of millions of users. Even as the abuse of Chrome extensions continues , Google is finally doing something about this problem. In the summer of , it began to forbid “in-line” links that installed Chrome extensions immediately; those links now have to go to the extension’s Chrome Web Store page so the user can learn more about it first.
On Oct. We don’t know how much of an effect these restrictions will have on malicious extensions, but the Chromium blog post noted that 70 percent of malicious or ethically dubious extensions used obfuscated code.
We’d still prefer to see humans checking each new Chrome extension before it’s pushed out into the wild. Best Antivirus Software.
But wait … there’s more
Anti-Malware doesnt detect nor block the extensions. their account the malicious extensions would get installed on the computer. . Can Malwarebytes add a feature to automatically block/remove malicious While we find a way to restore protection for Google Chrome, Malwarebytes believes our other. Proving once again that Google Chrome extensions are the Achilles heel of before Google removed it, but it may have found its way onto still more computers . says visitors must install the extension before they can leave the page. Malwarebytes’ finding comes a few days after a separate security firm. Google: Malware can still bypass Google Chrome’s extension installation protection. Malicious browser extensions have been a big issue in the past couple of.
Malicious Chrome extension is next to impossible to manually remove
Extensions remain the Achilles heel for an otherwise highly secure browser.
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WATCH: Malicious Chrome extension is next to impossible to manually remove | Ars Technica
Google: Malware can still bypass Google Chrome’s extension installation protection. Malicious browser extensions have been a big issue in the past couple of. Image: Chrome browser is redirected to In this first step, we will try to identify and remove any malicious app that By default, there are no extensions installed on Safari. tools like real-time scanning and specific protection from ransomware. If you are still experiencing problems while trying to remove. Google cracks down on misleading marketing and extensions with shady to using new tactics for tricking users into installing malicious extensions. We will remove extensions from the Chrome Web Store irrespective of Google still plans to cripple ad-blocking in Chrome, but enterprises will be exempt.