Home Cyber Attack 28 Chrome And Edge Third-Party Extensions Found Infected With Malware

28 Chrome And Edge Third-Party Extensions Found Infected With Malware

by Abeerah Hashim
firefox spying add-on

Researchers found numerous third-party extensions on Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge infected with malware. The malware hijacked traffic supposedly for monetary gains. In all, these extensions affected around three million users globally.

Chrome and Edge Extensions Infected With Malware

The security researchers from Avast have found numerous malicious browser add-ons affecting millions of users. Specifically, they noticed around 28 different Chrome and Edge extensions that included malware.

As elaborated in their post, the malicious third-party extensions were somehow associated with popular platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Vimeo, YouTube, and more. Thus, the add-ons managed to lure millions of users into downloading them.

Upon reaching the victims’ systems, the malware would then redirect traffic to suspicious websites, show ads to the users, or could even steal users’ data.

Describing how the malware redirected traffic, the researchers stated,

Users have also reported that these extensions are manipulating their internet experience and redirecting them to other websites. Anytime 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.

The redirects also made the attackers receive payments.

In all, these extensions affected around three million users around the world, as evident from the number of downloads.

List of Malicious Extensions

Below is the list of all malicious Chrome and Edge extensions reported by Avast.

  • Direct Message for Instagram
  • Direct Message for Instagram™
  • DM for Instagram
  • Invisible mode for Instagram Direct Message
  • Downloader for Instagram
  • Instagram Download Video & Image
  • App Phone for Instagram
  • App Phone for Instagram
  • Stories for Instagram
  • Universal Video Downloader
  • Universal Video Downloader
  • Video Downloader for FaceBook™
  • Video Downloader for FaceBook™
  • Vimeo™ Video Downloader
  • Vimeo™ Video Downloader
  • Volume Controller
  • Zoomer for Instagram and FaceBook
  • VK UnBlock. Works fast.
  • Odnoklassniki UnBlock. Works quickly.
  • Upload photo to Instagram™
  • Spotify Music Downloader
  • Stories for Instagram
  • Upload photo to Instagram™
  • Pretty Kitty, The Cat Pet
  • Video Downloader for YouTube
  • SoundCloud Music Downloader
  • The New York Times News
  • Instagram App with Direct Message DM

Uninstall Malicious Add-Ons Immediately

Although, the researchers specifically monitored the campaign on a rise in November 2020. However, they believe that this could have existed for years.

While they have reported the matter to both Google and Microsoft, many of the malicious add-ons continue to exist. Although, Google has removed all of the reported ones, yet Microsoft has removed a few only.

However, the users must check the extensions running on their Chrome and Edge browsers. And, if any of the add-on from the list is running on your device, remove it immediately.

Earlier this month, Microsoft removed 18 different extensions from Edge browser as they attacked users with ads.

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