Web of Trust (WOT) Add-on taken down by Chrome & Firefox

The Web Of Trust (WOT) add-on was removed silently by the popular web browsers Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox soon after it was reported on German media that the add-on ‘Web Of Trust’ collects and sells the browsing history of users to third-parties, without even bothering to anonymize the user data.wot

Mozilla spokesman said,

“Mozilla removes browser extensions when we find that extensions violate our guidelines for add-ons. We received complaints about ‘Web of Trust’, which are related to how transparent the add-on works.”

WOT is one of the most trusted and popular add-ons used by millions of users worldwide to check the safety ratings of the websites. German news site recently reported that the add-on is malicious and can remotely execute the arbitrary commands on any web page browsed by the users including privileged browser pages.

While WOT hands over the users’ data in an anonymized form, it can be severely critical. As per the analysis reported by Rob, Security Technology student and AMO editor working on Firefox WebExtensions, WOT can also steal the banking credentials of the users besides installing a malware in their system.

Downloaded for more than 140 million times, the extension WOT collects and sells the information like user ID, web address, location, time and date. Among other things, data stored by WOT also include the travel details of users, sexual preferences as well as illness of users. This information is sold to the third parties, which is further sent to the interested marketing companies.

While browsers like Google Chrome, Opera and Firefox have already removed WOT from their stores, the Android app WOT Handyschutz is still available in the Play Store.

You can check out the entire analysis report here and learn more about it.

UPDATE – WOT has responded with a statement:

We take our obligations to you very seriously. While we deployed great effort to remove any data that could be used to identify individual users, it appears that in some cases such identification remained possible, albeit for what may be a very small number of WOT users. Of course, if the data allows the identification of even a small number of WOT users, we consider that unacceptable, and will be taking immediate measures to address this matter urgently as part of a full security assessment and review.

So will you be uninstalling WOT from your browser?

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Shiwangi Peswani is a qualified writer and a blogger, who loves to dabble with and write about computers and the Internet. While focusing on and writing on technology topics, her varied skills and experience enables her to write on any topics which may interest her.

17 Comments

  1. Roy Batty

    Damn like that ? No apology ?. no explanation ? . Whats really going on ?.

  2. Plutia

    you expect an apology? they got rich off your data and they’re walking off scot-free.

  3. Billy Montgomery

    well they say this will fix all your problemes but what they dont tell you is that you better have your wallit out and redy to hand out cash .Now i feel that a repair that they make for their systems then we should get them for free since we do spend a lot of cash on other thing that we need to gett thier stuff to run the way we need it to

  4. Alberto Gorin

    heard it or read it befor

  5. Susan Lehmann

    So…… what do I use now?

  6. EJocys

    Looks like same apology form is used by many:
    We take [insert_thing_not_taken_seriously] very seriously.

  7. Thomas Maher

    What do i do now? Been ussing it for yrs and still got it installes

  8. Uninstall it now. You may install it again once they release an update that addresses this issue.

  9. Thomas Maher

    What can I use instead? I need this plugin to help protect me from those fake bad websites when I do research or search for drivers

  10. Thomas Maher

    thank you. I disabled it will that still leave me infected or will I have to actually remove it?

  11. Thomas Maher

    I am using comodo dragon browser

  12. Thomas Maher

    suprizing wot back up and if i never tried to get it that day find out about this then i would have never known

  13. Nakano15

    After that, the program should be renamed to Web of Lie.

  14. Yeah, it looks like the “Web Of Trust” was not being very trustworthy. Best not to use it all. Only two things in this world we can trust … and that is we have to pay our taxes and some day the undertaker will take care of us.

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