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back to article Google pulls Chrome extensions after new owners subvert web tools

Google has pulled at least two Chrome extensions from its online store after spammers and malware merchants bought established software from developers and updated it to suit their own nefarious purposes. The whistle was blown by developer Amit Agarwal, who spent a lazy hour or so coding a Chrome extension for the popular RSS …

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> Developers might also want to consider any offers for their code

Or at least hold out for one of those six-figures-per-month offers. If true (13 cents per user per month so not inconceivable if the purchaser plans to monopolise them for advertising) and actually paid then that's surely going to turn the hearts and morals of many a developer. Money on the "organised crime" scale has long been an effective moral solvent.

Someday soon my kids will be rolling their eyes at my well-worn rant about "I remember when the point of malware was printing "GIMME COOKIE"

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Stop

Is Chrome somehow special?

How come this isn't a problem on Firefox or Opera? Or is it?

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Re: Is Chrome somehow special?

Chrome automatically, and silently updates extension. Firefox at least tells you it's been updated. No idea about Opera.

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Anonymous Coward

don't see the problem

Developer sells app for tidy profit, new owner adds stuff to I make it recoup the purchase price

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"The company could, of course, take the Apple route and lock down its software distribution to a single store where all apps are tightly checked before release."

<sarcasm> Um yea and that option really keeps 100% of the crap out. </sarcasm>

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Typo?

You wrote, "the boom in spyware apps 20 years ago."

Huh? 20 years ago was 1994, the internet was in its infancy and spyware non-existent.

According to Wikipedia, "The first recorded use of the term spyware occurred on 16 October 1995 in a Usenet post."

The boom in spyware was 10-12 years ago. Gator was 1998, CoolWebSearch 2003, etc

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Holmes

but...

AOL was hugely popular 20 years ago.

Don't try to tell me THAT wasn't spyware.

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Hold on

"The company could, of course, take the Apple route and lock down its software distribution to a single store where all apps are tightly checked before release."

I thought that's exactly what they were doing, and all extensions now had to be distributed via their store - you can no longer side-load them.

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Re: Hold on

They're not checked like Apple's store though.

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Black Helicopters

Conspiracy Time

Are they only pulling the ones that screw up Google's main revenue stream? The fact it does undisclosed other things is pretty much part and parcel of owning an Android device and I know I have one.....Hmm a clock that needs to read my SMS messages and contacts...why does it need to do that again?

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Re: Conspiracy Time

Last time I accidentally clicked on the Facebook app in the Play store it wanted permission to call phone numbers. Unfortunately I can't uninstall it without rooting.

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Anonymous Coward

Malware payload with previously legit software? Who's got prior art on that?

Malware payload with previously legit software? Who's got prior art on that?

Good job you'd never catch Google bundling potentially unwanted pograms and hiding the default-to-on tickbox as an unsolicited extra payload with other suppliers' previously legit software.

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Gav

Correction

" Another offered a cash deal to replace Google ads on the extension with similar looking faux ads from the Chocolate Factory"

Isn't this sentence missing a "not"? They are faux ads *not* from Google. Unless we're saying that the Chocolate Factory produces similar looking faux ads that can replace their real ones?

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