Internet Browsers like Chrome, Internet Explorer and Firefox are an integral part of every computer operation today. This has led several software developers to come up with tools called extensions that are installed and enabled inside your browser. These tools add special features such as ad blockers, language translators, and even password managers.
Unfortunately, when it comes to computers, good things often attract the malicious hackers who find ways to exploit weaknesses in software code and turn these useful browser extensions into malicious tools that help them wreak havoc and possibly steal your identity. The more these browser extensions continue to popup the more you need to be careful.
While you might think that these browser extensions that contain malicious code used by hackers only come from questionable websites or other less than respectable methods, you might be surprised to learn that hackers have discovered ways to infiltrate legitimate websites and platforms such as Google Play Store and placed infected apps in the store to attempt to deceive unsuspecting users.
An example of this was recently uncovered on the Chrome Web Store, where four infected browser extensions were discovered. While they appear to be innocent sticky note apps, instead they were malicious bots that were designed to garner ad clicks which in turn would generate income that went directly to the hacker’s pocket.
How these hackers can turn these normally helpful browser toolbars into tools for the gain is by exploiting the likelihood that the unsuspecting computer user will not pay close attention to the fine print of the installation process and fail to adequately set the permission level.
Failing to do this, the hackers can hijack the intended purpose of the extension and use it to generate income for themselves. This is because browser extensions are designed to allow the feature to operate as it was intended by default so that if you do not pay attention during the installation you would miss your opportunity to alter its operation and curtail its possible malicious use by a hacker.
The use of a well-designed antivirus program that is set to detect and quarantine these types of malicious extensions and toolbars can be very effective. When looking to purchase a new antivirus product you should look at its features and functions to see if they paid extra attention to browser extensions and toolbars, especially if you suspect that you may have gotten one or more of them inadvertently loaded on your machine.
A common target for hackers is popular extensions for the Chrome and Internet Explorer browsers since they are the most heavily used. This gives the hackers the most opportunity to rack in the biggest amount of money. By attaching themselves to highly sought-after extensions such as Copyfish and another one that works with YouTube, they are mostly to get downloaded and the malicious code is automatically installed on your PC and updates are requested regularly which also means the hackers malicious code can be updated and altered to suit their needs.
Some extensions, while seemingly harmless, can manipulate the data that is collected from the websites you visit, and the data being reported will not be stripped of identifying markers and that data, in turn, could be sold based on the permission that is plainly stated in the legal policy you agreed to by visiting the website. This can potentially leave you open to identity theft and you have no clue that it was even happening.
So, with all that said, if you still feel the need to use some of these browser extensions you should heed some warning and take precautions:
CyberByte is a company that is devoted to helping computer users keep their computers and data safe and secure. They offer a powerful virus solution that can detect the malicious code that is associated with these browser extensions discussed previously in this post. Their products are especially effective for the user that rarely pays attention when they come across a site that wants to download and install a new toolbar or browser extension claiming that it will help their web surfing experience.
If you are looking for a high-quality antivirus program that won’t break the bank, look no further than Cyberbyte, they offer a powerful, fully downloadable totally free to try antivirus program that is compatible with both Mac and Windows OS. Their security software works for both malicious adware and malware.
Along with selling antivirus products, Cyberbyte also offers other cybersecurity functions. One of those involves being able to do what is called a penetration test, which means, they attempt to gain access to your company’s network to be able to gauge whether it could withstand an attack.
CyberByte™ Antivirus Features: