If you’re a Google Chrome user, you know the browser’s Web store offers a variety of helpful programs, games, and more – but some of those apps may have been created with ulterior motives.
Just as the Google Play Store for Android has been criticized for it’s lax security scanning, the Chrome Web Store has been found hosting some phony apps that, while not harmful to a user’s computer, never should have gotten through Google’s screening process.
According to Barracuda Networks, more than 90,000 users have fallen victim to deceitful apps in the Chrome Web Store posing as knock-offs of popular games such as “Angry Birds” and “Bad Piggies.” These bogus apps are actually advertising scams, replacing ads on targeted sites such as MySpace, Yahoo, IMDb, Disney, MSN and eBay with their own sets of ads.
You can identify these fraudulent apps by the following:
• After you sign up for the app, it asks you for “unlimited online access”
• Advertisements appear awkwardly cropped or incorrectly sized
Barracuda Networks reports that because there is no harm to the user’s computer, the only real problem with these apps is that they allow Chrome to behave in an unauthorized manner, and they steal ad space from companies that have paid for it.