"Cheating the Chrome Store" Technique of "active users" or "fake active users". This is serious.

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Julio Marin Torres

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Jan 11, 2020, 4:58:09 PM1/11/20
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Hi 

I have been investigating in recent weeks how these extensions cheat with their "active users" or (fake active users).

id list:

ieaopkpenabaehfmicdkkgjbamefagbi
gbpgfoogglapjfccgfhdjomdcalilgba
flfgnikpbnkalibambfjdnfdambpmfcj
gndffjifnojlkfkbeejiojebebdbgekd
phkenomnahhgjnmpignadbeandfanbil
gffbkijcnmfpkknjhfcncgfdfdljoflf
mplkcefebiebojkppohnolphbefpnjjg

With the days, you can see how these extensions will rise quickly in users and clearly see that all these extensions use fraudulent installations to manipulate the ranking and deceive users, making them believe that they are extensions of much success, when that is totally a lie.

All these extensions have similar behavior patterns and users, don't we? Research your installs history, something does not smell good.

This is forbidden by developer policy, so I ask the Chrome Store team to investigate and solve the ability to apply these blackhat techniques.

I will put more information about it and new cases in this publication.

If you see any similar case please report it, this goes against all developers and the chrome store itself. 

Thanks.

Julio Marin Torres

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Jan 11, 2020, 5:38:30 PM1/11/20
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Extension "Fonts Changer" "phkenomnahhgjnmpignadbeandfanbil" is an extension featured in "New releases" section

It is a new extension, so it has 3 rating. OK.

1.png





A few days ago this same extension had more than 2 million users. Really?

Today this extension has 207,173 "users" and version 1.0 published on December 18, 2019.



2.png




Is this really happening?

Developers who do not apply these "Blackhat techniques" will lose respect to those if they apply.

This error throws a clear message "Cheating"

This I think is a serious flaw and seriously affects the quality of the practices the Chrome Store.

Please, investigate...









Julio Marin Torres

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Jan 12, 2020, 7:38:24 AM1/12/20
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More information and details on how some developers cheat with their extensions, they generate "fake active users".

Extension "Fonts Changer" see here:



12/30/2019 this extension had about 2,854,540 users. See graphic users history here.


1.png



01/09/2020 Chrome Store detect and removed all fake users and there was a change in the system (they detected something, of course)

2228 users, the rest of its users were all fake. See graphic users history here.

2.png







01/09/2020 to 01/11/2020 This extension again has 207,180 users and will continue to increase in fake users. Chrome Store does not limit this type of blackhat practice. See graphic users history here.

3.png



Need more graphics?

This violates the Chrome Store rules. Please, the Chrome team should change the system. Now it doesn't work. 

Julio Marin Torres

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Jan 13, 2020, 7:10:24 AM1/13/20
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I found more extensions and developers that do "blackhat techniques" and generate thousands of fake users.

BTC games


This developer account generates many extensions, all its extensions are just a link to another gaming website.

Then generate thousands of fake users to ranking fun listings quickly.

This developer has more than 20 extensions in a single account, so imagine, on request you can publish more than 20 extensions from the same account.

The worst, the Chrome team has granted it. Where are the manual revision or quality reviews here? 


List of extensions, all with fake users:


Bus Surfers

Monster Truck Stunts

Speed Bumps

Real Car Racing 3D

Stack Fall 3D

Football Soccer League

Basketball.io

3D Soccer Champions

Hyper Flappy Bird

Dumb Ways to Die


8 Ball Pool Stars 1

Merge Candy Saga

Curve Fever Pro

Race City

Clash of Orcs

Traffic Run Online

Neon Blaster 2

Red Dead One Hand Cowboy


I think the CWS team should take action on this.

What do you think of this?


Julio Marin Torres

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Jan 13, 2020, 7:38:41 AM1/13/20
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More extensions and developers that do "blackhat techniques" and generate thousands of fake users.

MO Games


This developer account does the same as BT Games. It is the same developer with 2 different accounts.

This account has 54 extensions , 99.9 % of users are fake.


List of extensions, all with fake users:

Sling Race Online

Pubg Pixel

Dumb Ways To Die Orginal

Basket IO

Curve Fever Pro

Super Hard Boss Fighter

Offroad Mania

Bus Surfers

Zombie Road

Pixel force

Urban Subway Hooligans

Bull Shooting

Zombie Hunter

Duck Hunter

Traffic Go

Fly Car Stunt 3

Crossbar Challenge

Soccer Shoot 3D

This account MO Games has more extensions...

Julio Marin Torres

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Jan 13, 2020, 8:20:40 AM1/13/20
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Stranger things from the Chrome Store.

Let's talk about "Clone copies" with "fake users".

Search "custom cursor" in Chrome Store


Look at this, copy called "Unique Сursor for Chrome ™":








1.png



Strange things, easily visible.



2.png

3.png








5.png





4.png



This extension is an exact copy of the original, all its users are really fake, and also uses other techniques to ranking position.

CWS Team should take serious action on these types of practices at once,  revision process are now really broken.

What do you think?

Michael Cann

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Jan 13, 2020, 6:42:49 PM1/13/20
to Chromium Extensions
I just want to chime in that we have noticed simmilar issues with fake users on the store in our studies.

Julio Marin Torres

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Jan 14, 2020, 7:15:20 AM1/14/20
to Chromium Extensions
Hi Michael

Thank you for your message.

Sadly that is totally true, this is not an isolated case, there are hundreds or thousands of extensions that use the same technique.

You just have to see how there are large uploads of extensions with just a few user ratings. Is this completely ridiculous?

Reveal the truth, you realize that it is a great lie.

There are hundreds of copies of famous extensions in Chrome and thousands of extensions that rise in the rankings generating users.

Especially in countries like India, Russia and China.

This is becoming the evil of the Chrome Store and the CWS team does nothing to solve this big problem.

They know the problem very well, but I think they do not put means or resources, this is a systematic evil.

Feel free to give more details so that new developers know the truth.

I think it is necessary to be able to change things.

Fabiana Dias

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Jan 14, 2020, 7:23:19 AM1/14/20
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Fabiana Dias

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Jan 14, 2020, 7:23:49 AM1/14/20
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Em sábado, 11 de janeiro de 2020 18:58:09 UTC-3, Julio Marin Torres escreveu:

Deliaz

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Jan 14, 2020, 1:48:55 PM1/14/20
to Chromium Extensions
This is actually interesting to read. Thank you for the investigation.
What platform do you use to track those extensions users?

Julio Marin Torres

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Jan 14, 2020, 2:35:01 PM1/14/20
to Chromium Extensions
Hi Deliaz

It's crazy what happens in Chrome Store, because if these practices continue, all developers and users lose. 

If you want to investigate. Use this online tool https://www.chromebeat.com/

It does not find all extensions, only those that are indexed.

Note: Use the free version, use your intuition. You do not need more.

You will see it clearly.
Message has been deleted

Is Manu

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Jan 24, 2020, 6:50:51 AM1/24/20
to Chromium Extensions
Why spend Time for cheating...
For some bucks you Can buy a lot of follower's users for eveything : Facebook, Instagram, youtube, etc etc
A lot a websites sell this services... Google it !
And take a look on the reviews of an app in the playstore in the top Ten, try to search : scientific calculator for exemple.
Peoples put one star and comment "so great this app the best ever" ....
Or give five Stars and write a comment with inapprehensible words... Just because they Never use it and Can not put a Real comment...
It's easy to discover bougth followers/rewievers... all the reviewers Come from the same country ..
The worst is on YouTube with Channels counting million of followers increased in a short laps of time.
I have followed Channel and in a few months get their followers explosed.
but when you see how Many peoples watch the video or comment it, you have understood the trick.
So yes, you can, apparently, be on the front of the stage with sommes bucks.
So shameful...

Julio Marin Torres

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Jan 24, 2020, 10:41:03 AM1/24/20
to Chromium Extensions
Hi Is Manu

If it stinks and a lot. I explain to you, there are many reasons, because certain developers use these techniques.

A one motive Works. But there is more:

1. They position well for a few days and gain real users, obtaining more visibility. They save time.

2. Why create a new extension, if you can copy another one.

3. Most of these extensions use permissions "Read your browsing history" Nothing good. 

4. Nothing happens to them, they are not penalized, they are not removed from the store, although Chrome Store already knows.

5. It's free.They use a script robot.

6. This shows that the Chrome Store algorithm can be fooled, better place extensions with more downloads, so when these extensions perform fraudulent installations in a few days, they rise in the rankings and position themselves above the extensions with many more classifications and much more authority. I don't talk about months, I talk about days.

If this does not change, it makes no sense to make extensions that meet the standards, the algorithm is really broken, since it does not detect these types of techniques, nor does it penalize them.

What happens after a week "call home", the facilities fall at the same time, since these extensions do not have real users, they grew artificially, but it is a cycle that I have seen repeat many times.

Worst of all, they will do it again, why? These types of techniques are not penalized, they are not detected at the right time, then those extensions are not removed from the store.

This has been working like this for too long and nobody says anything. Or nobody has noticed. I really doubt it?


Julio Marin Torres

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Jan 24, 2020, 11:04:23 AM1/24/20
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Hi everyone

Look what happens after 7 days.

I give an example, extension "Unique Сursor for Chrome" copy of "Custom Cursor for Chrome"

Here it looks very clear. 


I explain the case.

When this extension had more than 200,000 fake users, it became in 2 position for the keyword "Custom cursor", just below Custom Cursor.

It is clear that this technique works. And not in months, in days.

Then when users fall, it goes back down, logically.

It's ridiculous. I know. But true.

1.jpg

2.jpg



Hr Gwea

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Jan 26, 2020, 11:36:14 PM1/26/20
to Chromium Extensions
Unfortunately, there's no way to counteract these fake-user bots because there's no difference with real users.
The user count of an extension is "the number of Chrome browsers that loaded the item in the past seven days".

If you want to increase your user count for a week just hire a bot-farm service for a day or a few hours and the increase in user count will last for 7 days.

Someone already said in a previous comment that this also happens on Youtube views and comments.
Well, it also happens on Twitter followers and retweets, Facebook recommendations and video views, etc.

The behavior of a human user is easy to fake with software. I don't see this problem going away anytime soon.

Julio Marin Torres

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May 30, 2020, 6:45:18 AM5/30/20
to Chromium Extensions
Hi Everyone 

I show a small list of extensions that simply open a link to a URL website, it cannot be said that this really is an extension, it is not, they also use fraudulent installations and have thousands of fake users.

I hope the CWS team investigates and removes these types of extensions:


Commando Sniper



Hyper Flappy Bird




Sweet Candy Match 3




Garbage Truck Simulator




Garbage Truck Simulator




Granny Jigsaw




Super 8 Race




Candy Match Saga




BMX Rider Impossible Stunt Racing




Bump.io




Zombies Night




Monster Truck Impossible Track




Super 3D World Adventure




Police Chase Real Cop Driver



Live Aqua Hero Adventure




Port Truck Parking




Puppy Blast




King Way




Pixel Gun Apocalypse 3




Ninja Treasure Match 3



Traffic Rider



Pet Runner 2019



OffRoad Truck In The Rain




Pixel Aiming




Pop The Virus




Ninja Hero Runner




ATV Offroad Racing Mania




PUBG Craft BATTLEGROUNDS




KOGAMA Escape from Prison



Ice Queen Tattoo Procedure




Fort Builder




Ladybug Jigsaw




CleanUp.IO




Marble Blast



City Simulator




Intersection Chaos




Derby Car Racing Stunt



Candy Dash




A Chemical Match 3




Barbie Artistic Eye Makeup




Minecraft Builder




Dumb Ways To Die Original




Johnny Trigger




Baby Taylor Eye Surgery




Crazy Kick!




Aztec Adventure




Pressure Washe




Push Em All




Forge Ahead




Viking Escape




Samurai Master Match 3




Off The Hook




Square Head Adventure




SuperHero.io




Fast Madness




UFO Hoop Master 3D




Curly Haired Jigsaw




Drift Rush 3D



GTA Crime Simulator




Demolition Derby Challenge

Monster Craft




Gold Gun Fury




Jingle Jetpack




Master Craft




Bump.io




Motocross Xtreme Stunts




Turkey Cooking Simulator




Super Neon Ball




Real Bottle Shooter Game




Real Garbage Truck




ShooterZ.io




Minecraft Coin Adventure




Sniper Clash 3D




Temple Run Tomb




Tiles Hop 3D




7×7 Ultimate




Alpha Guns




Zombies Night 2




Bomber Friends




KnifeBlades




There are many more... 



Developer Program Policies say:


website.jpg




Cheers!








Julio Marin Torres

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May 30, 2020, 7:03:48 AM5/30/20
to Chromium Extensions
Hi 

Extensions that simply open a link to a URL website

more extensions...  


KnifeBlades



Fort Schütze Simulator



Zombie Blocky Gun Warfare



Match Arena



Swing Man



Autosimulator




Basketball Simulator 3D



Scary Granny: Basement Escape




Superheroes Fight




The Floor is Lava 3D




Stickman Parkour Speed 2020




Zombie X City Apocalypse




The Island Survival Challenge



Miami Taxi Driver 3D



Horse Show Jump Simulator 3D



Traffic.io



Intercity Bus Driver 3D



Extreme Winter Oil Tanker Truck Drive


Rooftop Royale



Pirates Hidden Objects



Real Gangster City Crime Vegas 3D



Stadtfahrer



Underwater Cycling



Army Shooter 2020




Car Wash & Gas Station Simulator



Wild Hunter Sniper Buck



Star Battles



Supra Drift 2



Watermelon Shooting 3D



Forest Survival Simulator




...








Julio Marin Torres

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May 30, 2020, 7:23:09 AM5/30/20
to Chromium Extensions
Hi 

More extensions that simply open a link to a URL website

SlitherCraft.io



Boat Simulator 2



Spinning wheel



Skydom




Impossible Little Dash




PUBG Mini Multiplayer




4WD Electric Cars Jigsaw




Cute Monsters Coloring Book




Sokoban 3D 3



Slap King




Train Simulator 2020




Trail Bike Vs Train Race




Gimme Pipe




Mad Scientist




Greedy Rabbit



Combat Rescue Officer




Bomb Balls 3D



Hand Guillotine Online




Milkshake Cafe




Books With Numbers




Balloons Matching Deluxe




Tower Loot




LOL Surprise Millennials




Hidden Ocean Pollution




Kitty Lunchbox




The Unique Insect




Bear Hero Adventure




WorldCraft 3D Build & Craft




Rоad Turn




...
 

Danielle Mitchell

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May 30, 2020, 9:09:05 AM5/30/20
to Chromium Extensions

Hello Julio!

I see you are very worried. I will upset you. Practice shows that your attempts on the forum are useless.
Nobody will pay attention to you. This is ridiculous

pat...@brandthunder.com

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May 30, 2020, 9:18:01 AM5/30/20
to Danielle Mitchell, Chromium Extensions
You can simply unsubscribe Danielle.  

I think Julio is doing a great job at pointing out these issues. He helps me realize I’m not alone in fighting these bad actors. 

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Deliaz

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May 30, 2020, 9:31:28 AM5/30/20
to Chromium Extensions
Hello Julio, 
Thank you for your efforts!

Julio Marin Torres

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May 30, 2020, 10:54:56 AM5/30/20
to Chromium Extensions
Hi Danielle 

I think that most developers want a fair game, they are tired of seeing the tricks, spam and lies of some, who are clearly a minority.

If these spammers don't want to play according to the rules set by Developer Program Policies, we should have them leave the field.

I don't think anyone will miss them.

Cheers!











Julio Marin Torres

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May 30, 2020, 11:01:50 AM5/30/20
to Chromium Extensions
Hi Deliaz and Patrick. Thanks for your words!!

I think some developers are already angry, but it's understandable. They want to throw me off target.

Cheers!

Angela Johnson

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May 30, 2020, 12:26:11 PM5/30/20
to Chromium Extensions
Hey Julio

These problems since the creation of Google Chrome. Nothing will change from your posts. Let's discuss something more global?

Alexei

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May 30, 2020, 12:57:14 PM5/30/20
to Chromium Extensions
Oh look, another American Name @ random Japanese email address writing clearly non-native English. Julio, I think you touched a nerve or two.

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Hr Gwea

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May 30, 2020, 3:26:09 PM5/30/20
to Chromium Extensions
It seems the spammers are trying to defend their territory by spamming this forum as well. LOL

It wouldn't surprise me that it's just a single person creating all those fake accounts with english names. They all speak the same kind of bad english.

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