set of malicious Google Chrome The researchers reported that the extension designed to monitor browsing activity was installed on more than 1.4 million devices.
as a description blog post (opens in new tab) From security firm McAfee, the scam aims to modify the victim’s browser cookies every time they visit e-commerce website, thereby charging the operator a membership fee for any purchases.
Although two extensions called “Netflix Party” have now been removed from the official extension marketplace, McAfee says the rest are still available for download.
Chrome extension scam
Although malicious extensions do not pose an immediate security risk, they are not designed to leak sensitive data and do not install malicious software Payloads – they do represent a blatant invasion of privacy.
It can be seen from the popularity VPN With services and other solutions designed to obscure web activity, modern web users are increasingly reluctant to share their browsing data — especially as one can imagine.
What makes this scam particularly difficult to spot is that these extensions serve legitimate purposes in addition to providing the basis for affiliate revenue strategies. They also receive extensive scrutiny, leaving potential victims with little sign that a scam is going on right under their noses.
“These extensions provide functionality such as enabling users to watch Netflix shows together, website coupons, and taking screenshots of websites,” explains McAfee.
“Extended users don’t know [the malicious functionality] And the privacy risk of each site visited is sent to the extension author’s server. “
At the same time, to evade detection by analysts, operators programmed some extensions to start interfering with browser cookies weeks after the installation date.
Chrome users who discover they have the offending extension installed are advised to perform a manual uninstall immediately.
List of malicious extensions:
- Netflix party
- Netflix Party 2
- FlipShop – Price Tracking Extension
- Full Page Screenshot Capture – Screenshot
- AutoBuy Flash Sale