Many people are using malicious browser extensions without even noticing, as malware and adware among the many threats that are hitting users of browsers.
Many People Are Using Malicious Browser Extensions without Even Noticing
Malicious browser extensions are becoming rampant and widespread that tons of users already even have them installed on their devices.
A new report coming from Kaspersky analyzing telemetry data from its endpoint protection solution and found that in the previous two and a half years (between January 2020 and June 2022), there had been over 4.3 million unique users that have been attacked by adware hiding in various browser extensions. In other words, some 70% of all affected users recorded all encountered this type of threat.
Additionally, it claims to have also prevented over six million users from downloading malware, adware, and riskware that are disguised as browser extensions, in that timeframe.
Adware and Malware: The Two Most Popular Forms of Malicious Browser Extensions
These recorded extensions directly target users with adware and various form of malware daily while they stay ignorant and oblivious to the fact that are under any form of attack.
The most famous type of malicious browser extension is known as adware. Adware is unwanted software that promotes affiliates rather than improves the experience of the user. What these extensions do is that they monitor the behavior of users through browser history, in a bid to redirect them to affiliate pages and thus earn a commission for their makers. And according to Kaspersky, WebSearch is the biggest in this very category. These platforms are seen by antivirus programs as not-a-virus:HEUR:AdWare.Script.WebSearch.gen, and has been downloaded almost 900,000 times.
While this tool may actually improve the experience of office workers by easily converting .doc and.pdf files, for instance, it majorly changes the start page of the browser and then makes use of resources o earn more money via affiliate links.
The extension also changes the default search engine of the browser to myway which then captures the queries of the user, collects and analyses them, and then gives them search engine result pages. The second most famous type is malware. Malware usually is built to steal the login credentials of users and many other important pieces of information such as payment data.
How to Keep Your Device Safe from Malicious Browser Extensions
The most notable way of protecting your devices from malicious browser plugins is to ensure to always download them from sources that are trusted and to also check the rating and their reviews.