Google Chrome under attack: Have you used one of these hijacked extensions?

“Attackers have been phishing developers to compromise Chrome extensions to spread affiliate program ads that use fake security alerts to scare victims into paying for PC repairs,” Liam Tung reports for ZDNet.

“Proofpoint researcher Kafeine has identified six compromised Chrome extensions that have been recently modified by an attacker after phishing a developer’s Google Account credentials,” Tung reports. “Web Developer 0.4.9, Chrometana 1.1.3, Infinity New Tab 3.12.3, CopyFish 2.8.5, Web Paint 1.2.1, and Social Fixer 20.1.1 were compromised in late July and early August. Kafeine believes TouchVPN and Betternet VPN were also comprised in late June with the same technique.”

“At least one of the affiliate programs receiving the hijacked traffic promoted PCKeeper, a Windows-focused tool originally from ZeobitLLC, the maker of the MacKeeper security product that was the subject of a class action suit a few years ago over false security claims,” Tung reports. “It’s not the first time Chrome extensions have been targeted to spread adware and promote affiliate networks. In 2014, adware firms bought several popular Chrome extensions from legitimate developers, which up to that point had maintained trustworthy products.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We’re 100% Safari here. We don’t trust Chrome because we simply do not trust Google (Alphabet Inc.).

Apple slams Google in Safari 7.1 release notes: ‘Adds DuckDuckGo, a search engine that doesn’t track users’ – September 18, 2014
Google to pay $17 million to settle U.S. states’ Safari user tracking probe – November 20, 2013
Judge dismisses case against Google over Safari user tracking – October 11, 2013
UK Apple Safari users sue Google for secretly tracking Web browsing – January 28, 2013
Google pays $22.5 million to settle charges of bypassing Apple Safari privacy settings – August 9, 2012
US FTC votes to fine Google $22.5 million for bypassing Safari privacy settings; Settlement allows Google to admit no liability – July 31, 2012
Google’s D.C. lobbyists have outspent Apple nearly 10 to 1 so far this year – July 23, 2012
Google to pay $22.5 million to settle charges over bypassing privacy settings of millions of Apple users – July 10, 2012
Apple’s anti-user tracking policy has mobile advertisers scrambling – May 9, 2012
Google said to be negotiating amount of U.S. FTC fine over Apple Safari breach – May 4, 2012
Cookies and privacy, Google and Safari – February 25, 2012
Obama’s privacy plan puts pinch on Google – February 24, 2012
Obama administration outlines online privacy guidelines – February 23, 2012
Google sued by Apple Safari-user for bypassing browser privacy – February 21, 2012
Google responds to Microsoft over privacy issues, calls IE’s cookie policy ‘widely non-operational’ – February 21, 2012
Google’s tracking of Safari users could prompt FTC investigation – February 18, 2012
WSJ: Google tracked iPhone, iPad users, bypassing Apple’s Safari browser privacy settings; Microsoft denounces – February 17, 2012


  1. At work I have a choice of two web browsers: IE or Chrome. IE to me is the suckier experience.

    Besides, it is fun searching for something then seeing ads for that product show up on MDN pages.

  2. Unfortunately a number of web sites I use just display white in Safari. I usually copy the web address and paste it into Chrome, where all is fine.

    I wish Apple would fix this. I’m guessing it’s Java related.

    1. Similar issues here. Seems that over the past year I’ve been encountering more web sites that Safari does not display correctly but Chrome and other browsers do. Is it because Safari hasn’t kept up (hard to believe), or because Safari no longer supports older web page components?

      1. Maybe this is another example of Apple’s security policy biting back by not including ‘new’ browser features in Safari that have yet to be considered ‘secure’ enough for Apple.

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