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Warning: Chrome Extension can hide malware in Android Apps

CyberWisdom Safe Harbor Commentary on Chrome extensions:

The Google Chrome has handy applets that give you seamless access to services such as Evernote or Password Manager, or Bitmoji for easy access with just a click of a mouse. However, as with Android apps, Chrome extensions can sometimes hide malware or other disasters, even if you install the Chrome extension from the official Chrome Web Store. Google said malicious extensions have been reduced by about 70% over the past two and a half years, but recent research shows that the problem and the risks are far from being solved by users.

William Peteroy, chief executive of security firm Icebrg, said what we’re seeing is an increase in the use of crime. “When we first started to see criminals, it absolutely matched our needs, and that’s something we need to be aware of, and users need to start paying more attention than usual.

Sneak attack on Chrome extensions

Other browsers suffer a similar impact, but with a market share of nearly 60%, attacks on Chrome users typically affect the most people, making them the primary targets of criminal hackers. Icebrg recently highlighted four malicious extensions in the Chrome Web Store, totaling more than 500,000 downloads. These extensions are disguised as standard tools, with names like “Stickies” and “Lite Bookmarks.” The researchers found that they are actually part of click fraud scams to increase the attackers’ earnings. And these extensions request sufficient permissions to spy on more, access user data and the like, and track their behavior. After Icebrg privately leaked, Google deleted the four extensions.

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You already know to be wary of third-party Android apps, and even to watch your back in the Google Play Store. A flashlight app with only 12 reviews might be hiding some malware as well. But your hyper-vigilant download habits should extend beyond your smartphone. You need to keep an eye on your desktop Chrome extensions as well. These handy little applets give you seamless access to services like Evernote or password managers or put your Bitmoji just a click away. As with Android apps, though, Chrome extensions can sometimes hide malware or other scourges, even when you install them from the official Chrome Web Store. Engaging post, Read More…

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