AdGuard has discovered 295 Chrome extensions that hijack and insert ads in Google and Bing search results. The extensions have been installed by more than 80 million users.
In a technical analysis shared with ZDNet, AdGuard said all extensions loaded malicious code from the fly-analytics.com domain, and then proceeded to quietly inject ads inside Google and Bing search results. The apps included utilities such as changing the background for Chrome’s ‘new tab’ page, as well as fake ad blockers and weather widgets.
The majority of these extensions are still available on the Chrome Web store – a full list is available on AdGuard’s blog.
When Google removes an extension from the Chrome Web Store for malicious activity, the extension is also disabled in users’ browsers and marked as “malware” in Chrome’s Extension section, but users still have to manually uninstall it from their browsers.