Security

"Web of Trust" Add-on (WOT)—Why You Should Remove It?

  • 2016-10-02 German research reveals severe privacy violations in https://www.kuketz-blog.de/wot-addon-wie-ein-browser-addon-seine-nutzer-ausspaeht/
  • 2016-10-02 Audit of WOT by Rob Wu
  • 2016-10-02 Discovered arbitrary remote code execution capabilities in add-on
  • 2016-10-03 WOT listing removed from addons.mozilla.org 

The "Web of Trust" add-on has been removed from the leading web browsers such as Chrome, Firefox, and Opera. It has happened soon after German media reported that the ‘Web of Trust’ add-on collects and sells the browsing history of users to third parties, without even bothering to anonymize the user data, according to databreaches.net


Add-ons became an essential part of our daily Internet usage. We trust them, but seems that too much. As the case with “Web of Trust” shows, you should think twice before entrusting your personal details to companies.


The WOT Privacy Policy says that the user’s IP, geolocation, device type, operating system, browser, date and time, Web addresses, and overall browser usage are non-identifiable. But at the same time, the German TV channel NDR found that “Web of Trust” easy connects anonymized data with user accounts that include the account name, mailing address, illnesses, sexual preference, drug consumption, confidential company information, and browser surfing activity including all sites visited. That’s actually a huge number of collected data that may be a big issue, especially when it comes to over 140 million web surfers.


In its turn, the “Web of Trust” service posted an official response to NDR on its official website:

wot addon update

*MacKeeper strongly recommends not installing the “Web of Trust” extension to protect your private information from leakage to third parties. The “Web of Trust” add-on is still available in Safari extensions. Besides, WOT also has a mobile app, which is also vulnerable to this data collection.

How to remove WOT add-on from Safari:

  1. Go to Preferences > Extensions;
  2. Choose WOT from the list on the right side of the window > Press Uninstall > Confirm.
wot extension safari

How to remove WOT add-on from Chrome:

  1. Go to Chrome Preferences > Extensions;
  2. Choose WOT from the list > Click on the Trash icon > Confirm.
wot chrome extension

How to remove WOT add-on from Firefox:

  1. Click on sandwich menu in the top right corner > Add-ons;
  2. Choose WOT from the list  > Click Remove.
wot mozilla extension
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