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Google Chrome Warns About Extensions That Spy On You

by Abeerah Hashim
Emotet malware target Chrome browser

Google Chrome warns about some extensions that actually collect your data. These Chrome extensions not only spy on users but keep logs of their Facebook data. Considering their popularity and number of users, approx. 420,000 users have already become a victim of this ‘spyware campaign’. A security analyst and co-founder of Adguard pointed out these details, after which Google Chrome got rid of these spyware extensions.

Google Chrome Warns About ‘Huge Spyware Campaign’

In a recent blog post, security researcher Andrey Meshkov disclosed some Google Chrome extensions that look for your data. These extensions begin spying once you log into your Facebook account.

Meshkov was busy finding fake adblockers when he stumbled upon some Google chrome extensions leading to a spyware campaign. This campaign also included some popular Android apps along with Chrome extensions to spy on your Facebook data. After someone signed into their Facebook account this spyware began tracing the victims Facebook data, including their location and browsing history.

Andrey Meshkov explains what these extensions do,

“If you’re logged into Facebook, these spyware extensions will scrape all your data immediately after the browser startup. They even try to parse your purchase history!”

When he says ‘all your data’, it actually means ‘all data’. These extensions could even trace your posts, tweets, sponsored posts, YouTube videos and the ads you have already seen. The entire data was then transmitted to Unimania that sells it to third parties to make money.

Google Chrome Took Down All Spyware Extensions

After the news surfaced online, Google quickly took action and took down all the four extensions highlighted by Meshkov. The list goes like this:

  • Video Downloader For Facebook (> 170,000 users)
  • Album & Photo Manager For Facebook (>125,000 users)
  • PDF Merge – PDF Files Merger (>92,000 users)
  • Pixcam – Webcam Effects (31,000 users)

Although these extensions have been taken down, the threat is not over yet. In a time when Facebook itself has created a lot of chaos due to its data sharing activities, such spyware seems to be making the most of Facebook vulnerabilities. Therefore, one needs to be extremely cautious before downloading any third party apps or extensions.

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