Built Google Chrome extensions direct users’ browsing activities to unknown threat actors. McAfee security researchers have discovered this and are now warning about potential vulnerabilities. It involves five Google Chrome extensions that steal users’ browsing activity.
These are very popular extensions for Chrome: the extensions have been downloaded about 1.4 million times so far. That reports that Magic Hat Online Magazine. The malicious extensions monitor when users visit an e-commerce website. Then the visitor’s cookie is changed to show that he came through a referring link. As a result, the authors of the extensions receive an affiliate fee for every purchase after the click.
This trick is not new and only harms the website administrators at first. However, there are new “lures” that cybercriminals use. They are lured with alleged extensions to Netflix or for price comparisons.
Possible additional vulnerabilities
In addition, McAfee fears that the people behind it also have vulnerabilities in the web browser that could exploit, to perform further manipulations on user systems. A case like this only occurred a few days ago. Websites have unsolicited access to the clipboard and can thus exploit a risky security vulnerability.
McAfee has detected the following five malicious extensions:
- Netflix party
- Netflix party 2
- Capture full page screenshot
- FlipShope – price tracking extension
- AutoBuy Flash Sales
As a victim, malicious intent goes undetected as the extensions perform their advertised functions. According to McAfee, using the extensions currently has no direct impact on the user, but does pose a privacy risk.
The extensions have their own way of evading analysis. They also confused McAfee in the test because there is a 15-day delay from installation before the first tampering. The two Netflix extensions have already been removed and can no longer be installed. However, the others are still available in the Chrome Web Store. McAfee recommends that you stop using the extensions.
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