Posted : admin On 12/17/2021

Certain Google-owned domains have caused Chrome users, from even the most skilled researchers to regular users, to question whether they are malicious.

  1. Felcaaldnbdncclmgdcncolpebgiejap
  2. Extension Pkedcjkdefgpdelpbcmbmeomcjbeemfm
  3. Chromecast Pkedcjkdefgpdelpbcmbmeomcjbeemfm

The domains I am referring to are and gvt1/gvt2 subdomains that have spun many questions on the internet.

Last year, we discovered malware that installs a malicious browser extension on its victim’s computer or infects an already installed extension. To do so, it disables the integrity check for installed extensions and automatic updates for the targeted browser. Kaspersky Lab products detect the malicious program as Trojan.Win32.Razy.gen. The cast lib tries to call the cast extension 'pkedcjkdefgpdelpbcmbmeomcjbeemfm', which is not installed at%appdata% folder. The Chrome tries to download it at: and the network blocked.

After receiving multiple concerned questions over the years, BleepingComputer has dug deeper into the domains’ origin and whether they should be something to worry about.

What are these suspicious domains?

The domains * and *, along with their subdomains, are owned by Google and typically used to deliver Chrome software updates, extensions, and related content.

For example, when we started Chrome just now, it attempted to connect to the following domains:

However, these URLs and the domain name has repeatedly caused confusion among developers and researchers due to their suspicious-looking structure:

Likewise, gvt.1com domains have been previously flagged by antivirus products as malware [1, 2] and by researchers as an Indicator of Compromise (IOC) [1, 2, 3].

Moreover, the redirector.gvt1.comlinksredirect to an URL that contains the user’s IP address, among other elusive parameters which may cause further suspicion.

For example, BleepingComputer traced the following link, which redirects twice to much larger URLs with an arbitrary subdomain and extensive GET parameters, such as the user’s IP address:

Should we be concerned about URLs?

This is where it gets complicated, but the answer is: no, but Google could secure them better.


The GVT in the domain stands for Google Video Transcoding, and is used as a cache server for content and downloads used by Google services and applications.


Put simply, the * domains are only used by Google to deliver official content, Chrome browser updates, and Android-related executables.

“ is a redirection service used by Google for a variety of purposes, including download of updates, etc.,” Eric Lawrence, a former member of the Chrome Security Team, stated in a Google bug post.

Going back to the link analyzed in the previous section as an example, we can see the URL ending in .crx represents a Chrome extension :

Extension Pkedcjkdefgpdelpbcmbmeomcjbeemfm

BleepingComputer traced the extension to be the Chrome Media Routerextension, a legacy component that was used by Chromecast.

What is concerning, is that Google continues to use the insecure HTTP protocol rather than HTTPS when connecting to these URLs.

By connecting to the URLs via HTTP, it may be possible to use man-in-the-middle (MiTM) attacks to modify the downloads in some manner. If you have malware installed that is intercepting HTTP traffic, you have more to worry about at this point.

In conclusion, when seeing traffic concerning * or * domains in your corporate network, it is not a cause for alarm but simply a legitimate Chromium download taking place.

However, Google should switch to using HTTPS to prevent potential MiTM attacks, and administrators should continue to follow best practices such as analyzing traffic from the URLs.


Chromecast Pkedcjkdefgpdelpbcmbmeomcjbeemfm

BleepingComputer reached out to Google multiple times well in advance, but we have not heard back before press time.