uBlock Origin is a widely used browser app or extension known for its ability to filter content. For Internet users who wish to remain safe from possible threats they may encounter while browsing the Web, uBlock Origin is one of those nifty apps that keeps them away from bad scripts or bad ads that may have affected legitimate sites they frequent. Google Chrome and Firefox users may download the app here and here, respectively.
Today, one of our researchers noticed a fake version of uBlock Origin, uploaded on the 29th of September, on the Chrome Web Store. If ever you find yourself searching for the said app within the store, you’ll want to avoid imitations such as the below:
The above page is a reasonable copy, but if we do a side-by-side comparison, the differences become obvious:
The three most notable differences are:
- The lack of app users (uBlock Origin has been around for two years)
- The developer of the app (sorry, “Chrome” didn’t develop the app at all)
- The size of the app differs considerably
Once the the fake uBlock Origin app is installed, a browser tab opens to ublockq[DOT]top, which then redirects users to appmelauncher[DOT]com/uBlock/.
The domain is protected by CloudFlare, so we can’t say who is responsible for it.
Users are then requested to register for a “uBlock account”, something the real app wouldn’t ask from users, in order to completely install the app. After an email address and password have been supplied, clicking the “Register” button opens this page:
As we tested this app using a UK IP, the offers were indeed UK-centric. Visiting all three destinations encourage users to enter their personally identifiable information (PII), such as mobile contact number, email address, and name. At the end of the day, users may find themselves opted in to services they really don’t want and they still won’t have uBlock Origin installed after all the hoop jumping has taken place.
We would be remiss to not mention that the uBlock Origin brand has been used by online criminals as a lure earlier this year. In this day and age, users are advised to be extra careful when it comes to looking for and installing legit apps on known app stores, as fakes are often but a click away.
We have already reported the bogus uBlock Origin app.
Other related post(s):
Jovi Umawing (Thanks to Chris Boyd)