Finding malicious Chrome extensions

A short while back, I launched https://chrome-stats.com/ to analyze Chrome extensions in Chrome Web Store. Using these data, I am now able to identify some potentially malicious Chrome extensions. I have incorporated some of the logics used in this blog post with Brian Krebs (https://krebsonsecurity.com/2021/05/using-fake-reviews-to-find-dangerous-extensions/) to provide a "Safety" metrics for each Chrome extension. I am hoping that this will help users identify risky extensions sooner since Google typically takes a while before they removed a bad extension.

Do you know/remember any malicious Chrome extension recently? I am looking for data points to see measure how well my algorithm is in detecting bad Chrome extensions.

  1. 1

    I have a chrome extension in the store (that I didn't update it since several months)

    But I received from time to time emails from people that want to buy the extension. I guess it's probably to buy the extension and add a malicious code inside.

    However, Google did a good job by checking deeper the extension that inject/use external script and permissions.

    1. 1

      Yea, I also had several Chrome extensions that people reach out to me about monetization, which was kind of what led me down this project in the first place. I have gotten requests about replacing search engine, mining user data, using user bandwidth as a proxy, etc. I see some of those extensions that integrate with these companies are still around.

      Currently my algorithm is still not able to detect them all, but they have some common patterns so I reasonably confident that I can detect them once I enhance the logics some more.

  2. 1

    A recent popular malware-suspected chrome extension was the Great Tab Suspender. Came as quite a shock since it was such a hit among anyone used to opening many tabs at once (like me 😅).

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