Chrome adblockers are stealing your data

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Google chrome store has removed two adblockers that were found to be stealing user data.

Nano Defender and Nano Adblocker have been found guilty of stealing user data and have since been removed from the chrome store.

Nano Adblocker which had 500,000+ downloads and Nano Defender which had 200,000+ downloads have both been removed from the chrome store for spying on their users.

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The extensions did not contain the data collection code when they were published more than a year ago. But, during October 2020 that code block was added. Turns out, the original developer of the extensions had sold the two extensions to a developer team from Turkey.

Raymond Hill (author of uBlock Origin) and many other users figured it out and reported the inclusion of malicious code.

According to this article, the extension was modified to collect user’s IP address, country, URLs, time of user’s web requests, HTTP methods used (get, post, etc), size of HTTP responses, HTTP status response code, information about user’s operating system and the device the OS is running on, time spent in each web page and URLs navigated.

The new developer team released a half baked privacy policy document due to the backlash to justify the collection of data. But, since that clearly violates google’s policy that rather worked against them.

Firefox version of the extensions wasn’t part of sales hence, Nano Adblocker and Nano Defender on firefox are said to be safe.

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