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Delete these 32 Google Chrome extensions that pose a security threat
These 32 Chrome extensions offered legitimate functionality but injected arbitrary code into any website a user visited.
Google removed 32 extensions from Chrome after cyber security researchers discovered their malicious intent. According to cybersecurity firm Avast and researcher Wladimir Palant, most of these Chrome extensions offered legitimate functionality but injected arbitrary code into any website a user visited. Due to this, users were infected with ads on web pages and manipulated search results. The extensions do not redirect users to phishing websites, although the exact purpose remains unclear. Therefore, it is better to remove them if users have them installed. Security researchers claim these 32 extensions have more than seven crores of downloads, though the numbers seem inflated as reviews on the Chrome Web Store are suspiciously low.
Days later, the researcher found similar code in more than 20 Chrome extensions. At the end of May, Avast, thanks to initial research by Palant, discovered 32 malicious extensions in the Chrome web store. Some of them include Autoskip for Youtube (9 million), Soundboost (6.9 million), Crystal Ad Block (6.8 million), Brisk VPN (5.6 million), Clipboard Helper (3.5 million), and Maxi Refresher (3.5 million).
Avast's investigation continues and warns users not to download extensions from suspicious developers. The post says, "This example is a reminder that individuals must use caution when installing extensions – even those available on official platforms like the Chrome Web Store. A rule of thumb: Always check the developer's reputation and read reviews before installing an extension. Also, be wary of extensions that request excessive permissions or seem to have unrelated functionalities."
The company promises greater security with its antivirus software. The security researcher adds that these extensions mainly made money by redirecting search pages, though they still need to be expanded to that now.