Fake Accounts Spammed 1-star Ratings In Our Extensions & Boost 5-star Ratings for Other Competitor Extensions

UPDATE MAY 2nd, 2018: Google is dealing with the situation and has removed tons of suspicious extensions thanks to your efforts.


Not long ago from our warning about the fake accounts which has been spamming 1-Star reviews to all Freeaddon & SportifyTab extensions, we found out that many of these fake accounts have also spammed 5-Star Reviews in more than 1000 new extensions created by a group of developers since December 2017 to trick users. 

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*DISCLAIMER: We DO NOT make this up. We don’t try to backbite the other developers because we only want to warn you that you should not trust extensions that have fake 5-star reviews. AND ALSO WE NEED YOUR HELP!!!

Table of Content:
1.  Same Fake Accounts Spam 1-Star Reviews to Our Extensions, while Giving 5-Star Reviews to Extensions Made By Other Developers
2. Why We Need Your Help
3. What You Can Do To Help

1. Same Fake Accounts Spam 1-Star Reviews to Our Extensions, while Giving 5-Star Reviews to Extensions Made By Other Developers:

Let’s check the examples of abnormally repeated reviews below to understand:

EG 1: Dorinela Alexandra 1-Star Reviews in Freeaddon’s Extensions:

Here are other similar 1-Star Reviews: (Click to zoom in)





These reviews are extremely abnormally as they are similar in words by words. These type of reviews were proven to be fake in our previous post. This means that Dorinela Alexandra is a fake account.

Dorinela Alexandra 5-Star Reviews In Suspected Extensions:

Here are other similar 5-Star Reviews: (Click to zoom in)



Same Dorinela Alexandra gave 5-star ratings to some other extensions. Again, the reviews were repeated abnormally. Since Dorinela Alexandra is a fake account, these 5-star reviews are not trustworthy.


EG 2: Chuyen Mai 1-Star Reviews In Freeaddon’s Extensions:

 

Another example of abnormal repeating reviews is this account – Chuyen Mai. It was obviously a fake account giving fake review.

Here are other similar 1-Star Reviews: (Click to zoom in)



Chuyen Mai 5-Star Reviews in Suspected Extensions:

Here are other similar 5-Star Reviews: (Click to zoom in)






You should not trust the reviews from a fake account as these 5-star reviews are fake also.

THESE SUSPECTED EXTENSIONS ALSO HAVE FAKE RATINGS:

Take a look a the 2 famous extension below:

Despite having millions of users, these 2 normal extensions have the ratio of total ratings in total users, which is about 1%.

Look at the extensions from the suspected group of developers:


The ratio of total ratings in total users are: 50%, 23%, 69% respectively. In comparison to the average of 1% of ratio like the 2 famous extensions above, these suspected extensions obviously have fake ratings.

HOW TO IDENTIFY EXTENSIONS WITH FAKE 5-STAR REVIEWS:

The fake accounts have been used to spam 5-star ratings for extensions from multiple developers that we doubt they belong to the same team. Besides the reviews are so similar, their extension looks kindly the same in theme & text:

Here’s the similarity of 2 developers given as examples above:

1/ Wallpapers:

2/ HD Themes:

Look at how similar the 2 developers to some other developers below:




Another remarkable distinction to discover them is the 2 badges: New + HD in the same listing image:

Judging by this striking similarity, we suspect that both of these 2 developers are actually the same entity. In fact, they even use many other names like: Greatest Apps, Wallpapers, HD Themes, presignau.com, physicise.com, franciad.com, hemainment.com, cripher.com, popearacte.com, submany.com, helected.com, faminac.com, zebrzydow.com, exhumera.com, and more…

Some of these extension even changed their developer name to something else like New Tab World, HD Wallpapers, william, 4K Themes, Maestro, Better Tab, and more… However, they still use the same Chrome Web Store link. Therefore, we suggest tracking down these suspicious extensions based on the extension’s design, reviews, ratings and users. You can always use our List of Suspected Extensions as example.

2. Why We Need Your Help:

WHY THE EXTENSIONS HAVING FAKE 5-STAR REVIEWS & RATINGS ARE DANGEROUS:

The answer is that they wanted to make our users lose trust on our extensions by decreasing the average rating point while tricked users to install attacker parties’ extensions as they had a lot of 5-star ratings (and users could not know the ratings were fake).

In addition, decreasing our ratings and increasing their ratings at the same time means that they want to replace our positions in Chrome Webstore Listing. Imagine you search a word: dogs and you will only see the extensions from this group of developers spammed with 5-star reviews (fake but you don’t know), you will be tricked to install.

It’s known that the Spammer has injected malwares in his extensions. Two million users may be infected, find more details at this Google group post. On April 9th 2018, Google has taken down more than 500 malicious extensions from these suspected group.

If you want to help, again this is the link you can useList of Suspected Extensions and Fake Accounts


REASONS WHY WE NEED YOUR HELP:

  • We have reported this issue to Google but there have been no concrete actions from Google so far.
  • More people report to Google will make Google put higher priority to solve this issue.
  • Again, we don’t backbite these developers but the illegitimate extension should be taken down because we are not the only victim. Other legitimate developers like the one of this game: 2048 was attacked with 1-star reviews by the same account created fake 5-star reviews above (name: Chuyen Mai).


3. What You Can Do To Help::

This is the list of extensions having fake reviews & ratings with proofs you can check: List of Suspected Extensions and Fake Accounts

If you would like to report the problem to Google, you may find the “Report Abuse” option here:

This is the example of a report:


UPDATE MAY 2nd, 2018: For the record Google has taken down many extensions we listed above thanks to your efforts. However, the Fake 1-Star Ratings and Reviews on ours and other developers’ extension is still happening. Therefore, if you find any evidence of this hacker’s attack on any extensions, please send us the details via this form, so that Google will be able to deal with the situation more thoroughly:

Send us any evidence you have about the Fake Accounts spam, suspicious Extensions, and the hacker team!