Extra Adverts showing in Chrome?

For the last few weeks I’ve noticed unusual floating adverts from superfish.com on amazon.co.uk, focalprice.com and other shopping sites but I couldn’t figure out what was causing it. Turns out I’m not the only one to notice them.

superfish floating advert

It was an extension I had installed in Google Chrome. I went through each of the extensions I have installed, checking the options for each. Some didn’t have any options page and only one mentioned adverts at all but it wasn’t the Superfish one. With those checked I disabled each extension one by one, reloading Amazon until the advert went away.

I found it. “Flash Video Downloader” version 2.3.5 (id: ggkfikfcbnpfoicfjammigpnakpogebh) was responsible for the adverts. Authors of software want to be paid but this was very underhand. The extension has no options page and doesn’t mention adding Superfish adverts on the extensions page. It’s also a reminder of how much trust we put into the authors of software with access to our personal and private data. Since finding this I found the CNET download page and reviews for the extension. The latest reviews warn of the added malware:

Flash Video Downloader used to be an easy & safe product to download flash-based videos embedded into various websites.

They’ve secretly slipped Adware/Malware into their product (Superfish “Featured Shopper”). Flash Video Downloader obviously tracks your browsing history (that’s how it know’s when there’s a flash video available to download)… who knows where your browsing data is going now that they’ve got AdWare/Malware involved.

Also, Flash Video Downloader recently removed support to download YouTube videos. (I suspect Google/YouTube probably forced that change for copyright purposes.)

With Adware/Malware added to the product and YouTube support removed removed, I suspect most users will no longer find this product helpful or safe to use.

The extension isn’t on the Chrome Web Store. The last time I went searching I couldn’t find a decent one on there but maybe that has changed since. I don’t want to pirate Youtube videos. Sometimes I just want to watch a gameplay video offline!

10 thoughts on “Extra Adverts showing in Chrome?

  1. I had that on my old PC and with the new one hadn’t even looked at that. Very underhand I have to agree and just as well you can’t find it as that means I have no chance.

    Handy post though – thnx for bringing it up mate 😉

  2. Sickening sleazeballs.

    The vast majority of people will never realize, they’ll just presume that the Web is becoming progressively shittier.

  3. I have noticed the same issue on multiple websites, but without that extension installed, actually I removed all extensions but that did not help. I guess the add-makers have come up with a way to include the “popups” into the website code itself, so there might not be a easy way to get rid of them..

    1. hnhn – you may have a virus or some malware on your PC. Download Malwarebytes or Microsoft Security Essentials and scan your machine!

  4. Chrome…Settings…Extensions….ChromeReload. Next to “Allow in Incognito” there’s an “options” link. (Nothing to do with Incognito mode.) Click “options”, then a “Change” button appears that will turn on / turn off this annoying functionality. (If there’s another update, you might have to do it again, but that’s not too bad.)

  5. A search on my own superfish problem lead me to this page: http://ocaoimh.ie/tag/chrome/

    Interesting that a couple of posts below this one (in that view) has you mentioning the “read it later” extension. I don’t have this downloader extension, but I think I got super fish via my “read it later” extension.

    (Will: I wouldn’t use any software that pulled this crap, even if given that option.)

  6. I guess it was actually the Defer (formerly Instachrome) extension, and just started doing it a week ago. I found it because I had the console open and noticed it was having problems communicating. (Well to be honest: I was reporting the message as part of other development work, and someone else correctly identified an adware issue.) 🙂

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