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Extension Defender Checks Your Chrome Addons for Adware

adbugAs the number of adware-infested Chrome extensions being uncovered increases daily so too does user anxiety over what add-ons can really be trusted.

If you’ve been feeling cautious yourself it’ll help to know that you’re not alone, and you’re not out of options.

Emerging from the debris left behind by the recent explosive revelations is a new breed of security tools for Chrome that aim to scan, detect and alert users to known suspicious add-ons.

Extension Defender

Extension Defender‘ for Chrome is one of these. It promises to “protect Chrome” from malicious apps and add-ons by scanning your extensions for ‘known malware, adware and spyware’. It is backed up by an online database of more than 80 extensions that are known to come with nasty surprises.

Extension Defender Extension

If there’s one flaw, it’s a necessary one: Extension Defender requires some heavy duty permissions, including ‘access to your data on all websites’. My advice to those installing it is to only enable it on demand (i.e, after you install a new add-on) if you’re worried about it peeking in on your data full-time.

Features include proactive scanning and continued updating of ‘signatures’ so that you’re always being checked against the latest known rogues.

A notification badge is used to alert you about any malicious code, with options to see further information and, helpfully, a button so that you can remove it there and then.

Of the users who have taken the tool for a spin so far, the general response seems positive. “Best adware detector on webstore”, praises one user, “Able to quickly remove troublesome extensions”, writes another.

Providing you still have trust left to place in third-party add-on makers, Extension Defender can be install for free straight from the shelves of the Chrome Web Store.

Extension Defender on Chrome Web Store

  • Anthony Tumiwa

    nice, make my chromebook even more secure :)

  • Thomas Raukamp

    Two of my favourite extensions have been detected as adware: SmoothScroll and ‘Scroll to Top Button’. Oh dear …

    • http://www.lilibio.com flagos

      SmoothScroll adds ads at many places. I removed it for this reauson but from what I remember it was under picture or at the end of page.

  • niagr

    I hate to see these utility type apps coming into chrome now. You should never need an app to manage other apps or to clean or maintain the system. These should be the duty of the platform itself.

    • Doug Smith

      Absolutely agree. Google has a history of laissez-faire on the Android platform, it needs to police the ChromeBook environment. It is part of the trade-off: lesser functionality (compared to Windows or Linux) for super tight protection. Google employees, are you listening?

      • niagr

        I think a good compromise may be to enable a system of third party stores on Android and Chrome. This way, the official unmodified experience can be perfectly controlled while users have the freedom to willingly sacrifice quality/security if they like.

  • extensiondefender

    Author here,

    Just a heads up, we’re trying to scale back our permissions as much as possible, 1.0.2 is going out in a little bit.

    1.0.2 – Reduced permissions required, now instead of “Access your data on all websites”, now just limited to “Access your data on *.extensiondefender.com”

  • Mohamed Fdawy

    Google

  • Kenny Strawn

    Good. Things like this are sure to give malware distributors even more reason to scream and run, especially with Chrome OS quickly rising to the top…