Five Chrome extensions have been found to be malware! Even two of them refer to Netflix. Be sure to delete them! | TechBuzz

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Extensions for Google Chrome can significantly improve the user experience with the popular web browser because they bring a lot of new features, but the aspect of possible malware that they can contain is always overlooked.

Unfortunately, this has been proven once again these days as McAfee, known for its antivirus and cyber security software, issued a report on Monday stating that five Chrome extensions available within the Chrome Web Store should be removed from computers and other devices immediately. as they represent a serious malware threat.

CHROME extensions

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You can get more information about the report at the following link, and the problematic extensions are as follows:

  • Netflix Party (it’s about two extensions because the new extension Netflix Party 2 is also included here)
  • FlipShope – Price Tracker Extension
  • Full Page Screenshot Capture – Screenshotting
  • AutoBuy Flash Sale.

Together, these extensions have been downloaded by over a million and a half users, and the Netflix Party extension alone has more than 800,000 downloads.

These extensions provide the basic functionality that is listed in their description within the Chrome Web Store, but a report by McAfee states that they simultaneously inject unwanted code into the Chrome web browser.

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If you have downloaded any of these extensions, delete them immediately because they are really dangerous malware that tracks your activities on various websites and allows extension creators to make profits based on your online purchases without your consent.

McAfee has published a video on the subject, which explains in detail what the whole process looks like.

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Google reacted quickly and removed Netflix Party extensions from the Chrome Web Store, but other extensions can still be downloaded. It is necessary to know that just removing extensions from the web browser’s online store means nothing if the users who downloaded them have not uninstalled them on their device.

So, you will have to manually delete these extensions from your device to protect yourself and remove potential security threats.

Since this is another in a series of cases, we have to ask why web browser extensions are so dangerous?

You should know that by downloading a web browser extension, you allow them to process and change everything on the web pages you visit.

Due to this level of access, the extension can, for example, function as a keylogger and record your passwords or credit card information, it can insert advertisements and advertisements on the websites you visit, redirect your searches to other websites, track all your online activities, etc.

If the extension has permission to scan and process data, then it is an even more dangerous situation because many confidential information can be obtained even more easily that way.

We do not want to say that all extensions do the listed things, but carefully read the information about them in the web store from which you download them, and pay special attention to the permissions they require for their work.

Modern web browsers such as Chrome or Edge have a system of dedicated permissions for extensions, but many of them require even wider access to data in order to work smoothly and functionally.

So, extensions are not only small and useful software that will always serve us well, but they can be potential malware that has access to a lot of data. Even extensions that make small changes to web pages can require access to everything related to your web browser.

malware

How can safe extensions be transformed into malware?

Google Chrome is an example of a web browser that automatically updates extensions. If the extension requests new permissions, it will be temporarily disabled until its access to new data is granted by the user. When we have the case that the new version of the extension does not require new permissions, it will just continue to work. This is where the big problem comes in!

It is in August 2017 Web Developer extension was very popular on Chrome, but eventually fell victim to malware. A phishing attack occurred and the attacker uploaded a new version of the same extension that placed more ads and advertisements on websites. Millions of people trusted the developers behind the popular Chrome extension and were unaware of how it became infected with malware.

Perhaps some of the users are not at all familiar with how extensions are traded. Developers can develop an extension that has become extremely popular and has a large number of downloads. Because of this, another company can buy an extension and add extras to it, such as the ability to track users or place advertisements, all of which will be included in the web browser’s online store under the update label.

The same situation can become even worse when the purchase is made with the intention of being able to insert some of the available malware.

How to protect yourself from potentially malicious web browser extensions?

This is where the advice from Kaspersky, which specializes in cyber security and antivirus programs, can be very useful. It is enough to mention some of the data presented by the company. In the first half of 2022 1.3 million users was infected with malware via extensions, and from January 2020 to June 2022, more than 4.3. million users it downloaded web browser extensions that contained adware.

Kaspersky’s first recommendation is to download extensions only from trusted sources. Extensions containing malware can mostly be placed on websites or web stores that do not have strict verification criteria.

When downloading an extension, even when it is from a trusted source, pay attention to the access approval, i.e. the categories for which the extension requests access. The example with five apps from the Chrome Web Store does a great job of showing that even trusted places to download extensions are sometimes not completely secure and that extra caution is needed.

Another tip from Kaspersky is to limit the number of extensions we use and to audit the installed extensions on our device after certain periods.

Finally, it can be added that you can get an additional level of security in terms of extensions by using an antivirus program, many of which pay special attention to downloaded extensions.

Written by: Ervin Mičetić



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I am admin of techbuzz.asia blog & I provide tech-related news. As a part of my hobby, I make content related to technology and gadgets reviews too. I love to be a content creator apart from it, I am a full-time employee in an MNC company and manage blogs systematically. You can mail me at [email protected]

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