Google's Chrome browser extensions are being bought by adware distributors to add a code to control searches or slot in sponsored ads, a new report revealed.
Online ad affiliate marketers have been exploiting Google's 'autoupdating' guidelines for Chrome extensions in a bid to spread potentially unwanted programmes such as adware.
Amit Agarwal, the developer of 'Add to Feedly' extension, which has been pulled down by Google, reportedly sold the extension in late 2013 to an unidentified third party for a four-figure sum without knowing their intentions with it.
"I had no clue about the buyer and was also curious to know why would anyone pay this kind of money for such a simple Chrome extension," Agarwal added.
"These aren't regular banner ads that you see on web pages, these are invisible ads that work the background and replace links on every website that you visit into affiliate links.
"If the extension is activated in Chrome, it will inject adware into all web pages," wrote Agarwal.
Adware peddlers even exploited his extension that allowed Chrome users to add a website to Feedly with a single-click.