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Kaspersky Discovers Malicious Chrome Extensions with Millions of Downloads

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Beware of Malicious Google Chrome Extensions

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  • Security

Beware of Malicious Google Chrome Extensions

  • 05/07/2023, 15:36
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Kaspersky Discovers Malicious Chrome Extensions with Millions of Downloads

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Introduction:

Kaspersky, a renowned cybersecurity company, has recently uncovered a significant threat to Google Chrome users. A total of 34 malicious extensions, disguised as legitimate tools, were identified by Kaspersky, accumulating a staggering 87 million downloads. This article delves into the implications of these malicious extensions, highlights Google's response, and provides essential tips to ensure user safety.

 

Unveiling the Threat:

The investigation initiated when Kaspersky detected the PDF Toolbox extension, which injected arbitrary code into every webpage viewed by the user. Subsequent analysis uncovered an alarming network of 33 additional malicious extensions, all masquerading as useful utilities.

 

Immediate Actions Taken:

While Kaspersky appreciates Google's prompt removal of the malicious extensions from the Chrome Web Store, the company cautions users that the extensions may still reside on their devices. Users are strongly advised to verify the list of suspicious extensions and eradicate any potential threats.

 

Unheeded User Feedback:

Kaspersky applauds Google for its response to the researcher's report and acknowledges another team of experts who contributed to the disclosure. However, the cybersecurity giant expresses disappointment in Google's failure to act on user reviews, as many individuals had already reported suspicious URLs redirecting to adware-infested websites. TechRadar Pro has reached out to Google to ascertain the reasons behind this oversight.

 

Identified Malicious Extensions:

According to Kaspersky's instructions, users should promptly remove the following Chrome extensions:

  1. Autoskip for Youtube
  2. Soundboost
  3. Crystal Adblock
  4. Brisk VPN
  5. Clipboard Helper
  6. Maxi Refresher
  7. Quick Translation
  8. Easyview Reader view
  9. PDF Toolbox
  10. Epsilon Ad blocker
  11. Craft Cursors
  12. Alfablocker ad blocker
  13. Zoom Plus
  14. Base Image Downloader
  15. Clickish fun cursors
  16. Cursor-A custom cursor
  17. Amazing Dark Mode
  18. Maximum Color Changer for Youtube
  19. Awesome Auto Refresh
  20. Venus Adblock
  21. Adblock Dragon
  22. Readl Reader mode
  23. Volume Frenzy
  24. Image download center
  25. Font Customizer
  26. Easy Undo Closed Tabs
  27. Screence screen recorder
  28. OneCleaner
  29. Repeat button
  30. Leap Video Downloader
  31. Tap Image Downloader
  32. Qspeed Video Speed Controller
  33. HyperVolume
  34. Light picture-in-picture
     

The Dangers of Browser Plugins:

Expanding beyond the specific case, Kaspersky highlights the potential risks associated with browser plugins that demand complete access to view and manipulate data across all websites. Such plugins can compromise user privacy, expose sensitive credentials and payment information, and inundate browsing experiences with unwanted advertisements.

 

Kaspersky's Recommendations:

In light of these threats, Kaspersky advises users to exercise caution when downloading extensions and, whenever possible, avoid installing them altogether. The company emphasizes the concept of "the fewer, the safer," encouraging users to assess their installed plugins and promptly remove unnecessary ones. Additionally, Kaspersky recommends leveraging reliable endpoint protection software to bolster security measures.

 

Conclusion:

The discovery of these malicious Chrome extensions serves as a stark reminder of the ever-present dangers lurking in the digital realm. Kaspersky's vigilance and Google's subsequent actions underscore the importance of continuous monitoring and swift responses to safeguard user privacy and security. By remaining diligent and following the provided recommendations, users can mitigate potential threats and enjoy safer browsing experiences.

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