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Snippet: Adware Vendors Buy Chrome Extensions to Send Nasty Updates ☇

Shared on January 20, 2014

Ron Amadeo for Ars Technica (via John Gruber):

To make matters worse, ownership of a Chrome extension can be transferred to another party, and users are never informed when an ownership change happens. Malware and adware vendors have caught wind of this and have started showing up at the doors of extension authors, looking to buy their extensions. Once the deal is done and the ownership of the extension is transferred, the new owners can issue an ad-filled update over Chrome’s update service, which sends the adware out to every user of that extension.

I’ve been cleaning up a number of Windows machines that were infected through browser extensions, and it certainly is frustrating. Because of this abuse, I’m very cautious to use any sort of browser extensions at all. The good news is that Google will begin enforcing a new policy in June to combat this problem.

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