Google Chrome Extension Hijacks Searches, Gets Pulled from Store

The developer announced that he removed the code responsible for the redirect

When it comes to browsing the Internet, the security level of your browser is particularly important and one simple extension can work against this.

One example for this is a scandal that broke out several weeks ago and which ended in an extension being removed from the Google Store.

Called Window Resizer, the extension hijacked people’s searches to earn money for a third-party search engine. It would reroute links from Google and send them to a third-party search engine called Ecosia, which is apparently trying to save the rainforest.

Basically, instead of the regular Google search, users would momentarily be pushed to Ecosia, which would, in turn, boost traffic on the site and generate ad revenue.

Developers must abide by Google’s policies, since the extensions don’t run within Chrome, but this time around, that doesn’t seem to have been the case as the company decided to remove Window Minimizer from the Store.

The situation was discovered after a user tattled on the app, saying it was inserting links into the search results. He believed that while this was supposed to be a window resizing extension, it acted as a keylogger.

The developer quickly fought back and had a rather harsh tone to his replies. After going back and forth with other forum users, he eventually announced that he removed the allegedly malicious EcoLinks and sent the extension back for review.

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