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Millions Downloaded Malware Infected Chrome And Edge Extensions

By December 29, 2020May 5th, 2022Cybersecurity

Avast are the makers of popular antivirus software. Their researchers, recently found a total of twenty-eight different Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge extensions that were laced with malware.

Worse, they found the extensions have been downloaded by more than 3 million users around the world. All of the extensions were designed to help facilitate the download of pictures and video from platforms like Spotify, Vimeo, Instagram and Facebook.

According to the researchers, the malware is JavaScript-based and is designed to display ads or direct users to phishing sites where their personal information may be collected for later use.

Avast’s research team had this to say about their findings:

Users have also reported that these extensions are manipulating their Internet experience and redirecting them to other websites. Any time a user clicks on a link, the extensions send information about the click to the attacker’s control server, which can optionally send a command to redirect the victim from the real link target to a new hijacked URL before later redirecting them to the actual website they wanted to visit. User’s privacy is compromised by this procedure since a log of all clicks is being sent to these third-party intermediary websites.”

As malware goes, that’s certainly not the worst thing we’ve seen, but it is a genuine threat that puts your privacy, and potentially your personal information at risk.

If you rely on a number of browser extensions, especially those that facilitate easier and more convenient downloading of images and videos, and you use either Edge or Explorer, it pays to purge your existing collection of extensions and reinstall clean copies. This is especially true if you’ve been noticing aberrant behavior in your browser.

Unfortunately, many users tend to download and forget about extensions, so it may not be obvious at first glance that the two (your extensions and the malware) are connected. In light of that, it pays to conduct a thorough review of your system.

Jason Manteiga

Jason J. Manteiga, Vice President of Olmec Systems, has been part of the company for over the past 20 years. He believes that having a great work environment and supportive team, is the ultimate key to success. Since being in the IT realm for over 25 years, Jason, along with Olmec Systems, has been on the Inc. 5000 “List of America’s Fastest Growing Private Companies” and Channel Futures MSP 501 “Top Managed Service Providers in North America,” along with other awards and nominations. Jason earned his Bachelor Degree in Information Systems from the New Jersey Institute of Technology. He also holds certifications in Microsoft MCSE, VMWare VCP, and Cisco CCNA. In his spare time, Jason is a contributor for The Center for Social & Legal Research (Privacy Exchange) and a member of the Morris County Chamber of Commerce. His hobbies include cycling and kayaking. He currently lives in New Jersey with his wife, two daughters and son.