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Delete This Extension: It Is Dangerous

A fake extension for Google Chrome has been found: it imitates a known and legitimate software but floods the computer with advertising. The name of the umpteenth extension for Google Chrome, very well known and appreciated, has been exploited to publish and disseminate another fake extension with a single purpose: to harass those who install it with advertising. For a long time, Google hasn’t seen this add-on and has allowed thousands and thousands of downloads.

The security issue in the official Google stores (Chrome Web Store and Play Store) returns to the fore and, once again, not with good news. The Google security filters do not work correctly if not ” ex-post “after someone publicly reports a problem. In this case, the well-known online newspaper Bleeping Computer specializes in cybersecurity to write the dangerous extension. The offending extension, however, had been on the Chrome Web Store since June 2019, so for over two years, without Google having even batted an eye.

Internet Download Manager

The extension in question is called ” Internet Download Manager,” but it is correct and necessary to specify it. It is a fake extension. There is, in fact, software for Windows called Internet Download Manager, which was developed by the Tonec software house. And it is secure software that does not cause problems for those who use it. Then there is an equally legitimate and secure extension called the ” IDM Integration Module. ”

Tonec still develops it, and, in practice, it is the official extension of the Internet Download Manager app. Then there is the fake extension, directly called Internet Download Manager. On the other hand, it has nothing to do with Tonec and the original software but was downloaded by over 200 thousand people who believed they were downloading the IDM Integration Module.

Why The Extension Needs To Be Removed

After the Bleeping Computer report, Google finally realized that someone was speculating on the name and fame of the Internet Download Manager (the real one) and removed the Internet Download Manager extension (the fake one) from the Chrome Web Store. However, those who have already installed it may be forced to delete it from Chrome manually.

The fake add-on is, in effect, an ” adware “that is a computer virus written for advertising purposes. The first thing Internet Download Manager does after installation is to change the default search engine: from Google or Bing to ” smartwebfinder.com.” Then it proceeds to open several invasive and challenging to-close advertising banners. It makes the user’s daily life practically impossible in a short time due to the massive amount of advertising shown.

Dangerous Chrome Extensions, The Ones To Remove Immediately

Unfortunately, Google did not realize that an extension mimicked another prevalent one that had crept into its store related to add-on functions. The fake extension in question, once installed, teased the advertising computer seamlessly. Situations like these make it clear how vulnerable Big G’s security system is still, constantly forced to run for cover only after the problem has already occurred. The solutions, of course, only come when the problem has already happened and requires rapid intervention to be contained.

This time, Bleeping Computer, an online newspaper dealing with cybersecurity, reported the new threat. Attention, however: it was not a simple oversight, but a severe flaw: the fake extension was present in the Chrome store since at least June 2019, so years of downloads have compromised the functioning of our computers. To clarify, the name of this fake was Internet Download Manager and followed that of another secure software produced by Tonec, a critical software house that works for Windows programs. Thanks to the recognized name, the number of downloads by users who have been trusted has even reached over 200 thousand.

Dangerous Chrome Extensions, Blacklisted

The advice is to remove the extension from your browser while Google rushes to remove it from its store. Unfortunately, however, the blocklist of dangerous extensions is getting longer. Another search found five other dangerous extensions. This time it is about add-ons that capture the sensitive data of those who have installed them to steal access to e-commerce sites to find out what the user’s needs are. Here is the blocklist:

  • Netflix Party – 800,000 downloads
  • Netflix Party 2 – 300,000 downloads
  • Full Page Screenshot Capture – Screenshotting – 200,000 downloads
  • FlipShope – Price Tracker Extension – 80,000 downloads
  • AutoBuy Flash Sales – 20,000 downloads

Again, these are dangerous browser add-ons. Two of them even pass themselves off as Netflix, the streaming giant, promising the party function, that is, the ability to see content simultaneously with other people associated with your account. Among others, however, we find a web browser software to capture images and two extensions for shopping suggestions, also, in this case, connected to viruses that spy on users’ browsing. These threats have been installed almost a million times for damaging browsing privacy, which appears to be enormous.

Also Read: Browser Comparison: Which Service Offers You The Most Security?