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Ad Companies Are Trying to Buy Popular Chrome Extensions


Over the weekend, it was reported that an odd, new trend is popping up among extensions for Googles Chrome browser: ads. According to Ars Technica, advertising companies are buying popular Chrome extensions that already have a built-in userbase, and then changing the extension to insert ads into websites. Ownership of a Chrome extension can be transferred to another party, and users are never informed when an ownership change happens. Malware and adware vendors have caught wind of this and have started showing up at the doors of extension authors, looking to buy their extensions. Once the deal is done and the ownership of the extension is transferred, the new owners can issue an ad-filled update over Chromes update service, which sends the adware out to every user of that extension.

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