Google has removed 192 deceptive Chrome extensions that affected 14 million users with unwanted pop-up ads. Many Chrome extensions, including iLivid NewTab and others have now been removed from Google Chrome’s repository due to receiving over 100,000 complaints.
Google says that these Chrome extensions were not “part of a healthy ads ecosystem” and further went on to say that the extensions they removed were part of an environment where bad practices hurt users, advertisers, and publishers alike.
Over a third of Chrome extensions that inject ads were recently classified as malware in a research study carried out by Google researchers and colleagues from the University of California at Berkeley. Of all the extensions they researched, they found 192 to be intrusive and a security risk.
The study also unearthed widespread use of ad injectors across multiple browsers on Windows and Mac OS X adware.
The crackdown on the deceptive Chrome extensions comes less than two months after it was discovered that Lenovo sold computers with preinstalled adware from a company called Superfish. Superfish is very destructive adware that serves ads into search results and can hijack encrypted Web sessions. This adware made users vulnerable to man-in-the-middle attacks that could completely bypass HTTPS and secure layers.
Even though 192 extensions are axed from Google’s repository, third-party extensions and others are still around. The recent removal of the extensions does provide some room as popular extensions will no longer provide a threat, but more deceptive extensions can be just around the corner. In order to fully protect against rogue and deceptive Google Chrome extensions third-party Anti-Malware software such as Malwarebytes Anti-Malware is recommended to protect your computer in real-time.