Fake Ad-Blockers Removed From Chrome Store After 20M Users Download Them

DooKey

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Apr 25, 2001
Messages
12,309
Google has removed several fake ad blockers (Warning auto play video) after research firm AdGuard published a blog showing that over 20 million Chrome users had downloaded them over the last year. I have to say that AdGuard did everyone a service by finding this, but the fact that Google didn't vet these ad blockers well is concerning. I hope some of you [H] readers didn't fall for any of these fake ad blockers.

The most popular fake ad blocker was AdRemover for Google Chrome, which had over 10 million users, putting a massive botnet of infected browsers at its authors' disposal.
 

IcePickFreak

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Dec 1, 2010
Messages
1,673
"This is why Google suggests you rely upon the built in ad-blocker in Chrome only." - Googles response probably
 

Deathlizard

Weaksauce
Joined
Mar 15, 2002
Messages
88
Well, they still have a ways to go considering this is what I get when I search for Adblock Plus.
 

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Deathlizard

Weaksauce
Joined
Mar 15, 2002
Messages
88
This in all its glory.
Here's the Adblock Plus search for firefox. To be fair it's at least cleaner than chrome...

Maybe it's because of Firefox Quantum disabling legacy plugins but who knows.
 

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Shmee

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Sep 12, 2014
Messages
1,148
The Chrome store is full of garbage. My boss was using an auto page refresher to update a report every few minutes, but if he had read the reviews he would have seen that it was spyware and sending info (passwords and whatnot) off to the developer.
 

CaptNumbNutz

Fully [H]
Joined
Apr 11, 2007
Messages
24,010
I never did understand how Chrome got so popular.
Because Google was the most popular search engine by far for over a decade. They then released the browser with ads everywhere to try Chrome. You couldn't escape the bombardment if you used any of Google's services, be they google.com, youtube, gmail, etc. They then bundled it with Android and they caught a few more customers just out of brand recognition and association.

Seeing as we were at the tail end of support for the craptacular versions of Internet Explorer 6, 7,8, and 9 when all this happened, it was no surprise people liked the change. It was a really good browser for sometime. Now its just mediocre.
 
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CaptNumbNutz

Fully [H]
Joined
Apr 11, 2007
Messages
24,010
Has anyone seen the bogus ads on youtube? There is an ad company running "click here to block ads" advertisement during youtube videos. It's cleverly designed to trick people and you can only barely make out some text that says "Ad by XYZsometing" that is conveniently hidden under the user interface button layered above it and using more clever use of shading and font to make it barely visible.


I wonder if this is somehow related to these bogus ads.
 

Bielzebuddha

Weaksauce
Joined
Apr 16, 2018
Messages
67
Yes. thats what I do.

Grandma Doesn't.

When she hears she needs to download adblock plus this is what she will see. At least adblock plus was the top search result. for awhile it was the third.
Good people don't let Grandma use Chrome.
 

Bielzebuddha

Weaksauce
Joined
Apr 16, 2018
Messages
67
Here's the Adblock Plus search for firefox. To be fair it's at least cleaner than chrome...

Maybe it's because of Firefox Quantum disabling legacy plugins but who knows.
Nope, Mozilla is more careful than Google.

Plus, uBlock Origin FTMFW. Along with YouTube Adblock, NoCoin, and mineblock(?).
 

Bielzebuddha

Weaksauce
Joined
Apr 16, 2018
Messages
67
Has anyone seen the bogus ads on youtube? There is an ad company running "click here to block ads" advertisement during youtube videos. It's cleverly designed to trick people and you can only barely make out some text that says "Ad by XYZsometing" that is conveniently hidden under the user interface button layered above it and using more clever use of shading and font to make it barely visible.


I wonder if this is somehow related to these bogus ads.
Probably.

I've never seen these ads, because I use YouTube Adblocker.
 

Babbster

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jan 13, 2006
Messages
1,434
The Chrome store is full of garbage. My boss was using an auto page refresher to update a report every few minutes, but if he had read the reviews he would have seen that it was spyware and sending info (passwords and whatnot) off to the developer.
Seriously, this. I never install crapware/malware because I read the reviews first. Bad software gets bad feedback pretty fast. It would be better if it never showed up in the first place, of course, but it doesn't take much due diligence to avoid the worst.
 

lostin3d

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Oct 13, 2016
Messages
2,043
This is why I avoid the app store and go directly to the developer's website.
Every time I go to the app store for anything it somehow feels like I've been dropped into an alley somewhere in the Thieves World books.
 
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