Recent data suggests that for the first time in History of Browser wars, Google Chrome has overtaken Internet Explorer to become the most widely used browser. The second place is now held by IE and Mozilla Firefox inching behind. Source: StatCounter.

From a personal note, I think Chrome is fast, but not as safe as Firefox. It beats IE for sure and it beats Firefox in speed and usability as well. I used to be a Firefox user but since Firefox has gone in a update frenzy since last year, other developers that provide extensions have not been able to keep up and had rendered Firefox useless for more advanced users.

Getting back to the topicRemove porn/ advert banner from Google Chrome home page.

Recently I came across a machine that had Chrome installed. On its home page, which was just plain Google, was a porn banner advertisement. How did it get there? was that a browser hijack?

I am not sure if that was a browser redirection hijack as the search results seemed fine. Anyhow, I had to get rid of it. So I started digging around the Chrome extensions and the apps that were installed. I did not find anything in there. So I looked into installed programs and did not find anything fishy in there as well. Finally I ran MS Autoruns tool to see running programs, services and registry entries. I did not find anything in there as well.

Solution:

  • So finally I just uninstalled Chrome, deleted the Chrome Application Data folder from the User account, (C:\User\UserName\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\) restarted the machine and then re-installed Chrome. That fixed it. This file structure is on a Windows 7 machine. Win xp will have a different file structure for AppData.
  • If that does not fix the problem, of if the problem reoccurs, then you have yourself a honey pot! There are extensions on Chrome web store, which includes free games like Angry Birds or Mario Bros and utility tools like Screen Capture. One of those free apps that you downloaded and installed has malicious code build in for the banner advert. So delete the free apps and games one by one and see removing which one fixes the problem. Once you find the rogue app. report it to Chrome development team. Although they don’t make that stuff, but they are still launching from their web store.