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These Data Stealing Chrome Extensions Were Downloaded Over 1.4 Million Times

Extensions can be useful for most Google Chrome users, but in spite of the fact that this is the case many of them pose rather serious security risks with all things having been considered and taken into account. Researchers at McAfee recently revealed that there are five separate Chrome Extensions that they had detected which track user browsing history without obtaining prior consent.

With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that these malicious browser extensions have been downloaded over 1.4 million times in total. Their main purpose is to track when users visit ecommerce websites, and they then alter the cookies from the browser to trick the site into thinking that the users are coming from referral links. The malicious actors who are behind these Chrome extensions then receive a referral fee if the user ends up buying an electronics product.

Around 1.1 million of the 1.4 million downloads went to Netflix Party and Netflix Party 2, both of which are popular extensions that allow users to watch Netflix content with friends remotely. Netflix Party was installed about 800,000 times, whereas Netflix Party 2 received about 300,000 downloads. Coming in third is a screenshotting extension by the name of Full Page Screenshot Capture which received over 200,000 installs. This is followed by price tracking extension FlipShope with 80,000 downloads and AutoBuy Flash Sales with 20,000 downloads.

While these extensions are definitely taking part in suspicious and illicit activities, they are often hard to detect. They fully deliver on the promised features that users are expecting which allows them to fly under the radar because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up keeping users in the dark about anything nefarious that might be going on.

These revelations indicate that users need to be really careful while utilizing browser extensions. Even if they offer the promised functionality, there is always a chance that they’d be performing other malicious tasks just beneath the surface thereby placing users at great risk of losing their data.


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