Some extensions are not reliable so we must know how to identify them and minimize the risks.
We have talked on many occasions about browser extensions that allow you to add functions that do not come as standard. These are third-party programming, programmed thanks to Chromium, thanks to being open source. But not all of them are safe, so we must be very vigilant.
Most common malicious extensions
There are many uses that we can make of these extensions. These programs are added to the browser to include new functions , we can download these through the official stores that are responsible for filtering and keeping track of the extensions, making sure that they are not dangerous for our system. But this is not the only way to access them, so we must be attentive to the sources that supply them.
The danger of these extensions lies in the permissions they need to work and access to information, in the case of Google Chrome we must give them permission to read and write, having the power to change the data on the web that we visit. In addition to collecting information about the location, activity and web content that we access. Although when installing the extensions we receive a message explaining the conditions of use and privacy, but most of us ignore them and continue with the installation, a practice that can unknowingly endanger our system.
This can give rise to introduce malware and adware in our system. What makes cybercriminals earn money at our expense when the user accesses tracked links that take them to the advertiser’s page. Something that can also analyze your searches and data and offer advertising that fits your needs. But this is not the worst thing that can happen, in the case of malicious extensions they can steal sensitive information not only from our searches and cookies, but they can also take over our bank details. Among these we can find several types.
One of the most common is WebSearch malicious adware extensions, disguised as Office tools, infiltrate the system. Once installed, they replace the home page and it takes us to affiliate links . In addition, they change the usual search engine, to analyze and save our searches, in order to offer us links according to their own interests.
We can also find these in the form of extensions to download music videos from social networks or proxy servers. By doing so we introduce malicious software with which the attacker uses our computer to play videos in the background and earn revenue from the views. In the same way, they profit by stealing cookies from our computers, installing cookies illegally and without the need to access the web page in question.
These are some of the most commonly used, but there is a long list. Staying safe is very simple, only download extensions from official sources and keep track of the installed ones, it is recommended from time to time to clean those that we do not use and suspect if we have not installed any of these functions.