Millions of Users Infected by Ad Injectors: Google
For days my laptop had once been infected with an extension called “Gaosave,” I had no idea where it came from and I didn’t know how to get rid of it for good because every time I restarted the browser after deleting the extension in would pop back up enabled and working.
What did it do? Well, it basically f**ked up my browsing experience by injecting ads here, there and everywhere on websites so much that no matter where I clicked something unwanted would open up at least half the times.
If you have been at the receiving end of this too (or other unwanted ads), you have been introduced to ad injectors!
Nav Jagpal, Software Engineer at Safe Browsing took to the official Google Online Security Blog with a detailed article on the topic.
In order to look deeper into the issue of ad injectors, University of California Berkeley and a team from Google have conducted a study involving over 100 million pageviews across Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer.
Their findings are appalling.
Here are some of the highlights of the report that will help you better understand the extent of the damage that ad injectors are doing to computers and users all over the globe:
- Ad injectors were detected on all operating systems (Mac and Windows), and web browsers (Chrome, Firefox, IE) that were included in our test.
- More than 5% of people visiting Google sites have at least one ad injector installed. Within that group, half have at least two injectors installed and nearly one-third have at least four installed.
- Thirty-four percent of Chrome extensions injecting ads were classified as outright malware.
- Researchers found 192 deceptive Chrome extensions that affected 14 million users; these have since been disabled. Google now incorporates the techniques researchers used to catch these extensions to scan all new and updated extensions.
Indeed, ad injectors are hated for being intrusive as well as deceptive (when they trick you into installing a malware bundled with another software).
Seeing how the issue is widespread I think Google needs to take bigger steps to exercise control over them.