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This Chrome Add-On Keeps Extensions From Going Rogue on You


March 11, 2024

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This Chrome Add-On Keeps Extensions From Going Rogue on You

Chrome users now have a way to detect if their installed extensions have changed owners, giving them a chance to stop using one if they suspect foul play or simply want to be extra cautious.

Browser extensions are a lucrative market for both genuine developers and rogue actors.

“Extension developers are constantly getting offers to buy their extensions,” Matt Frisbie writes on GitHub. “In nearly every case, the people buying these extensions want to rip off the existing users. The users of these extensions have no idea an installed extension has changed hands, and may now be compromised.”

Frisbie, a software developer and programming book author, has caught the attention of cybersecurity media thanks to his clever Chrome add-on called Under New Management. Its sole mission is to alert users when installed extensions have changed owners, giving netizens a chance to stop using a particular extension if they no longer trust it.

Browser extensions have been historically used by bad actors as avenues to push aggressive ads, collect data behind the user’s back, mine crypto using their device’s computing power, and more.

Under New Management intermittently checks your installed extensions to see if the developer’s information listed on the Chrome Web Store has changed. If anything changes, Under New Management will adorn the extension icon with a red badge.

UNM example

Credit: Matt Frisbie (https://github.com/classvsoftware/under-new-management)

Users get notified of the change of ownership, meaning they have a chance to “make an informed decision about the software they're using,” as Frisbie himself puts it.

Bitdefender offers a powerful browser extension called Traffic Light. Our cross-browser add-on filters your web traffic blocking any malicious content, including malware, phishing attacks, internet scams, and more.




Filip has 15 years of experience in technology journalism. In recent years, he has turned his focus to cybersecurity in his role as Information Security Analyst at Bitdefender.

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