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Over 100 New Chrome Browser Extensions Caught Spying On Users

Over 100 New Chrome Browser Extensions Caught Spying On Users
June 22, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
Google recently removed 106 more extensions from its Chrome Web Store after they were found illegally collecting sensitive user data as part of a "massive global surveillance campaign" targeting oil and gas, finance, and healthcare sectors. Awake Security, which disclosed the findings late last week, said the malicious browser add-ons were tied back to a single internet domain registrar, GalComm. However, it's not immediately clear who is behind the spyware effort. "This campaign and the Chrome extensions involved performed operations such as taking screenshots of the victim device, loading malware, reading the clipboard, and actively harvesting tokens and user input," Awake Security said. The extensions in question posed as utilities offering capabilities to convert files from one format to the other, among other tools for secure browsing, while relying on thousands of fake reviews to trick unsuspecting users into installing them. Furthermore, the

49 New Google Chrome Extensions Caught Hijacking Cryptocurrency Wallets

49 New Google Chrome Extensions Caught Hijacking Cryptocurrency Wallets
April 15, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
Google has ousted 49 Chrome browser extensions from its Web Store that masqueraded as cryptocurrency wallets but contained malicious code to siphon off sensitive information and empty the digital currencies. The 49 browser add-ons, potentially the work of Russian threat actors, were identified  (find the list here) by researchers from MyCrypto and PhishFort. "Essentially, the extensions are phishing for secrets — mnemonic phrases , private keys, and keystore files," explained Harry Denley, director of security at MyCrypto. "Once the user has entered them, the extension sends an HTTP POST request to its backend, where the bad actors receive the secrets and empty the accounts." Although the offending extensions were removed within 24 hours after they were reported to Google, MyCrypto's analysis showed that they began to appear on the Web Store as early as February 2020, before ramping up in subsequent months. In addition, all the extensions functioned a

500 Chrome Extensions Caught Stealing Private Data of 1.7 Million Users

500 Chrome Extensions Caught Stealing Private Data of 1.7 Million Users
February 14, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
Google removed 500 malicious Chrome extensions from its Web Store after they found to inject malicious ads and siphon off user browsing data to servers under the control of attackers. These extensions were part of a malvertising and ad-fraud campaign that's been operating at least since January 2019, although evidence points out the possibility that the actor behind the scheme may have been active since 2017. The findings come as part of a joint investigation by security researcher Jamila Kaya and Cisco-owned Duo Security, which unearthed 70 Chrome Extensions with over 1.7 million installations. Upon sharing the discovery privately with Google, the company went on to identify 430 more problematic browser extensions, all of which have since been deactivated. "The prominence of malvertising as an attack vector will continue to rise as long as tracking-based advertising remains ubiquitous, and particularly if users remain underserved by protection mechanisms," sa

Avast and AVG Browser Extensions Spying On Chrome and Firefox Users

Avast and AVG Browser Extensions Spying On Chrome and Firefox Users
December 03, 2019Mohit Kumar
If your Firefox or Chrome browser has any of the below-listed four extensions offered by Avast and its subsidiary AVG installed, you should disable or remove them as soon as possible. Avast Online Security AVG Online Security Avast SafePrice AVG SafePrice Why? Because these four widely installed browser extensions have been caught collecting a lot more data on its millions of users than they are intended to, including your detailed browsing history. Most of you might not even remember downloading and installing these extensions on your web browser, and that's likely because when users install Avast or AVG antivirus on their PCs, the software automatically installs their respective add-ons on the users' browsers. Both online security extensions have been designed to warn users when they visit a malicious or phishing website; whereas, SafePrice extensions help online shoppers learn about best offers, price comparisons, travel deals, and discount coupons from variou

Two Widely Used Ad Blocker Extensions for Chrome Caught in Ad Fraud Scheme

Two Widely Used Ad Blocker Extensions for Chrome Caught in Ad Fraud Scheme
September 20, 2019Swati Khandelwal
Two widely used Adblocker Google Chrome extensions , posing as the original — AdBlock and uBlock Origin — extensions on Chrome Web Store, have been caught stuffing cookies in the web browser of millions of users to generate affiliate income from referral schemes fraudulently. There's no doubt web extensions add a lot of useful features to web browsers, making your online experience great and aiding productivity, but at the same time, they also pose huge threats to both your privacy and security. Being the most over-sighted weakest link in the browser security model, extensions sit between the browser application and the Internet — from where they look for the websites you visit and subsequently can intercept, modify, and block any requests, based on the functionalities they have been designed for. Apart from the extensions which are purposely created with malicious intent , in recent years we have also seen some of the most popular legitimate Chrome and Firefox extensions g

Critical Flaw Reported in Popular Evernote Extension for Chrome Users

Critical Flaw Reported in Popular Evernote Extension for Chrome Users
June 13, 2019Swati Khandelwal
Cybersecurity researchers discover a critical flaw in the popular Evernote Chrome extension that could have allowed hackers to hijack your browser and steal sensitive information from any website you accessed. Evernote is a popular service that helps people taking notes and organize their to-do task lists, and over 4,610,000 users have been using its Evernote Web Clipper Extension for Chrome browser. Discovered by Guardio, the vulnerability ( CVE-2019-12592 ) resided in the ways Evernote Web Clipper extension interacts with websites, iframes and inject scripts, eventually breaking the browser's same-origin policy (SOP) and domain-isolation mechanisms. According to researchers, the vulnerability could allow an attacker-controlled website to execute arbitrary code on the browser in the context of other domains on behalf of users, leading to a Universal Cross-site Scripting (UXSS or Universal XSS) issue. "A full exploit that would allow loading a remote hacker contr

Google's New Tool Alerts When You Use Compromised Credentials On Any Site

Google's New Tool Alerts When You Use Compromised Credentials On Any Site
February 05, 2019Mohit Kumar
With so many data breaches happening almost every week, it has become difficult for users to know if their credentials are already in possession of hackers or being circulated freely across the Internet. Thankfully, Google has a solution. Today, February 5, on Safer Internet Day, Google launches a new service that has been designed to alert users when they use an exact combination of username and password for any website that has previously been exposed in any third-party data breach. The new service, which has initially been made available as a free Chrome browser extension called Password Checkup , works by automatically comparing the user's entered credential on any site to an encrypted database that contains over 4 billion compromised credentials. If the credentials are found in the list of compromised ones, Password Checkup will prompt users to change their password. Wondering if Google can see your login credentials? No, the company has used a privacy-oriented i

Google Announces 5 Major Security Updates for Chrome Extensions

Google Announces 5 Major Security Updates for Chrome Extensions
October 02, 2018Mohit Kumar
Google has made several new announcements for its Chrome Web Store that aims at making Chrome extensions more secure and transparent to its users. Over a couple of years, we have seen a significant rise in malicious extensions that appear to offer useful functionalities, while running hidden malicious scripts in the background without the user's knowledge. However, the best part is that Google is aware of the issues and has proactively been working to change the way its Chrome web browser handles extensions. Earlier this year, Google banned extensions using cryptocurrency mining scripts and then in June, the company also disabled inline installation of Chrome extensions completely. The company has also been using machine learning technologies to detect and block malicious extensions. To take a step further, Google announced Monday five major changes that give users more control over certain permissions, enforces security measures, as well as makes the ecosystem more t

Someone Hijacked MEGA Chrome Extension to Steal Users' Passwords

Someone Hijacked MEGA Chrome Extension to Steal Users' Passwords
September 05, 2018Swati Khandelwal
Warning! If you are using Chrome browser extension from the MEGA file storage service, uninstall it right now. The official Chrome extension for the MEGA.nz cloud storage service had been compromised and replaced with a malicious version that can steal users' credentials for popular websites like Amazon, Microsoft, Github, and Google, as well as private keys for users' cryptocurrency wallets. On 4 September at 14:30 UTC, an unknown attacker managed to hack into MEGA's Google Chrome web store account and upload a malicious version 3.39.4 of an extension to the web store, according to a blog post published by the company. Malicious MEGA Chrome Extension Steals Passwords Upon installation or auto-update, the malicious extension asked for elevated permissions to access personal information, allowing it to steal credentials from sites like Amazon, Github, and Google, along with online wallets such as MyEtherWallet and MyMonero, and Idex.market cryptocurrency trading

Python-Based Adware Evolves to Install Malicious Browser Extensions

Python-Based Adware Evolves to Install Malicious Browser Extensions
June 26, 2018Wang Wei
Security researchers have been warning of a few newly detected variants of python -based adware that are being distributed in the wild not only to inject ads but also found installing malicious browser extensions and hidden cryptocurrency miner into victims' computers. Dubbed PBot , or PythonBot , the adware was first uncovered more than a year ago, but since then the malware has evolved, as its authors have been trying different money-making schemes to profit themselves, according to researchers at Kaspersky Labs. The previous versions of the PBot malware were designed to perform man-in-the-browser (MITB) attacks to inject unwanted advertising scripts on web pages visited by the victim, but the newer variants have been found installing malicious ad extensions in the web browser. "Developers are constantly releasing new versions of this modification, each of which complicates the script obfuscation," Kaspersky researchers said in their blog post published today.

Google Blocks Chrome Extension Installations From 3rd-Party Sites

Google Blocks Chrome Extension Installations From 3rd-Party Sites
June 12, 2018Swati Khandelwal
You probably have come across many websites that let you install browser extensions without ever going to the official Chrome web store. It's a great way for users to install an extension, but now Google has decided to remove the ability for websites to offer "inline installation" of Chrome extensions on all platforms. Google announced today in its Chromium blog that by the end of this year, its Chrome browser will no longer support the installation of extensions from outside the Web Store in an effort to protect its users from shady browser extensions. "We continue to receive large volumes of complaints from users about unwanted extensions causing their Chrome experience to change unexpectedly — and the majority of these complaints are attributed to confusing or deceptive uses of inline installation on websites," says ​James Wagner, Google's extensions platform product manager. Google's browser extensions crackdown will take place in three ph

Prowli Malware Targeting Servers, Routers, and IoT Devices

Prowli Malware Targeting Servers, Routers, and IoT Devices
June 07, 2018Swati Khandelwal
After the discovery of massive VPNFilter malware botnet , security researchers have now uncovered another giant botnet that has already compromised more than 40,000 servers, modems and internet-connected devices belonging to a wide number of organizations across the world. Dubbed Operation Prowli , the campaign has been spreading malware and injecting malicious code to take over servers and websites around the world using various attack techniques including use of exploits, password brute-forcing and abusing weak configurations. Discovered by researchers at the GuardiCore security team, Operation Prowli has already hit more than 40,000 victim machines from over 9,000 businesses in various domains, including finance, education and government organisations. Here's the list devices and services infected by the Prowli malware: Drupal and WordPress CMS servers hosting popular websites Joomla! servers running the K2 extension Backup servers running HP Data Protector softw

7 Chrome Extensions Spreading Through Facebook Caught Stealing Passwords

7 Chrome Extensions Spreading Through Facebook Caught Stealing Passwords
May 11, 2018Swati Khandelwal
Luring users on social media to visit lookalike version of popular websites that pop-up a legitimate-looking Chrome extension installation window is one of the most common modus operandi of cybercriminals to spread malware. Security researchers are again warning users of a new malware campaign that has been active since at least March this year and has already infected more than 100,000 users worldwide. Dubbed Nigelthorn, the malware is rapidly spreading through socially engineered links on Facebook and infecting victims' systems with malicious browser extensions that steal their social media credentials, install cryptocurrency miners, and engage them in click fraud. The malware was pushed through at least seven different Chrome browser extensions—all were hosted on Google's official Chrome Web Store. These malicious Chrome browser extensions were first discovered by researchers at cybersecurity firm Radware, after a "well-protected network" of one of its custo

A New Cryptocurrency Mining Virus is Spreading Through Facebook

A New Cryptocurrency Mining Virus is Spreading Through Facebook
May 01, 2018Swati Khandelwal
If you receive a link for a video, even if it looks exciting, sent by someone (or your friend) on Facebook messenger—just don't click on it without taking a second thought. Cybersecurity researchers from Trend Micro are warning users of a malicious Chrome extension which is spreading through Facebook Messenger and targeting users of cryptocurrency trading platforms to steal their accounts' credentials. Dubbed FacexWorm , the attack technique used by the malicious extension first emerged in August last year, but researchers noticed the malware re-packed a few new malicious capabilities earlier this month. New capabilities include stealing account credentials from websites, like Google and cryptocurrency sites, redirecting victims to cryptocurrency scams, injecting miners on the web page for mining cryptocurrency, and redirecting victims to the attacker's referral link for cryptocurrency-related referral programs. It is not the first malware to abuse Facebook Messenger

Over 20 Million Users Installed Malicious Ad Blockers From Chrome Store

Over 20 Million Users Installed Malicious Ad Blockers From Chrome Store
April 19, 2018Mohit Kumar
If you have installed any of the below-mentioned Ad blocker extension in your Chrome browser, you could have been hacked. A security researcher has spotted five malicious ad blockers extension in the Google Chrome Store that had already been installed by at least 20 million users. Unfortunately, malicious browser extensions are nothing new. They often have access to everything you do online and could allow its creators to steal any information victims enter into any website they visit, including passwords, web browsing history and credit card details. Discovered by Andrey Meshkov, co-founder of Adguard, these five malicious extensions are copycat versions of some legitimate, well-known Ad Blockers. Creators of these extensions also used popular keywords in their names and descriptions to rank top in the search results, increasing the possibility of getting more users to download them. "All the extensions I've highlighted are simple rip-offs with a few lines of co

Critical Flaw in Grammarly Spell Checker Could Let Attackers Steal Your Data

Critical Flaw in Grammarly Spell Checker Could Let Attackers Steal Your Data
February 05, 2018Swati Khandelwal
A critical vulnerability discovered in the Chrome and Firefox browser extension of the grammar-checking software Grammarly inadvertently left all 22 million users' accounts, including their personal documents and records, vulnerable to remote hackers. According to Google Project Zero researcher Tavis Ormandy, who discovered the vulnerability on February 2, the Chrome and Firefox extension of Grammarly exposed authentication tokens to all websites that could be grabbed by remote attackers with just 4 lines of JavaScript code. In other words, any website a Grammarly user visits could steal his/her authentication tokens, which is enough to login into the user's account and access every "documents, history, logs, and all other data" without permission. "I'm calling this a high severity bug, because it seems like a pretty severe violation of user expectations," Ormandy said in a vulnerability report . "Users would not expect that visiting a we

Beware of Cryptocurrency Mining Virus Spreading Through Facebook Messenger

Beware of Cryptocurrency Mining Virus Spreading Through Facebook Messenger
December 22, 2017Swati Khandelwal
If you receive a video file ( packed in zip archive ) sent by someone ( or your friends ) on your Facebook messenger — just don't click on it. Researchers from security firm Trend Micro are warning users of a new cryptocurrency mining bot which is spreading through Facebook Messenger and targeting Google Chrome desktop users to take advantage of the recent surge in cryptocurrency prices. Dubbed Digmine , the Monero-cryptocurrency mining bot disguises as a non-embedded video file, under the name "video_xxxx.zip" (as shown in the screenshot), but is actually contains an AutoIt executable script. Once clicked, the malware infects victim's computer and downloads its components and related configuration files from a remote command-and-control (C&C) server. Digimine primarily installs a cryptocurrency miner, i.e.  miner.exe—a modified version of an open-source Monero miner known as XMRig —which silently mines the Monero cryptocurrency in the background for h

8 More Chrome Extensions Hijacked to Target 4.8 Million Users

8 More Chrome Extensions Hijacked to Target 4.8 Million Users
August 16, 2017Swati Khandelwal
Google's Chrome web browser Extensions are under attack with a series of developers being hacked within last one month. Almost two weeks ago, we reported how unknown attackers managed to compromise the Chrome Web Store account of a developer team and hijacked Copyfish extension , and then modified it to distribute spam correspondence to users. Just two days after that incident, some unknown attackers then hijacked another popular extension ' Web Developer ' and then updated it to directly inject advertisements into the web browser of over its 1 million users. After Chris Pederick, the creator of 'Web Developer' Chrome extension that offers various web development tools to its users, reported to Proofpoint that his extension had been compromised, the security vendor analysed the issue and found further add-ons in the Chrome Store that had also been altered. According to the latest report published by the researchers at Proofpoint on Monday, the expanded

Hackers Hijacked Chrome Extension for Web Developers With Over 1 Million Users

Hackers Hijacked Chrome Extension for Web Developers With Over 1 Million Users
August 03, 2017Swati Khandelwal
From past few years, spammers and cyber criminals were buying web extensions from their developers and then updating them without informing their users to inject bulk advertisements into every website user visits in order to generate large revenue. But now they have shifted their business model—instead of investing, spammers have started a new wave of phishing attacks aimed at hijacking popular browser extensions. Just two days ago, we reported how cyber criminals managed to compromise the Chrome Web Store account of a German developer team and hijacked Copyfish extension , and then modified it with ad-injection capabilities to distribute spam correspondence to users. Now just yesterday, another popular Chrome extension ' Web Developer ' was hijacked by some unknown attackers, who updated the software to directly inject advertisements into the web browser of over its 1 million users. Chris Pederick , the creator of Web Developer Chrome extension that offers various w

Someone Hijacks A Popular Chrome Extension to Push Malware

Someone Hijacks A Popular Chrome Extension to Push Malware
July 31, 2017Swati Khandelwal
Phishers have recently hacked an extension for Google Chrome after compromising the Chrome Web Store account of German developer team a9t9 software and abused to distribute spam messages to unsuspecting users. Dubbed Copyfish, the extension allows users to extract text from images, PDF documents and video, and has more than 37,500 users. Unfortunately, the Chrome extension of Copyfish has been hijacked and compromised by some unknown attacker, who equipped the extension with advertisement injection capabilities. However, its Firefox counterpart was not affected by the attack. The attackers even moved the extension to their developer account, preventing its developers from removing the infected extension from the store, even after being spotted that the extension has been compromised. "So far, the update looks like standard adware hack, but, as we still have no control over Copyfish, the thieves might update the extension another time… until we get it back," the de
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