Five Google Chrome extensions found to be stealing user data

Five Google Chrome extensions found to be stealing user data

If you are a Netflix Party Google Chrome extension user, I would recommend dropping it off right away. Apparently, folks at McAfee came across five Google Chrome extensions that divert users’ browsing data while disguising as fully functional extensions allowing users to watch Netflix together or take full-page screenshots of websites. Interestingly, these extensions have been downloaded 1.4 million times at the time of writing this.

Google Chrome Extensions are stealing your data

Although not a general statement, many of the Google Chrome extensions have been removed from the system after researchers found that these extensions steal data in some shape or form. Talking about the latest discovery, the five extensions namely Netflix Party and 2, AutoBuy Flash Sales, Full Page Screenshot Capture – Screenshotting, and FlipShope – Price Tracker Extension, have been found to steal users’ browsing data.

The report elaborates on the matter that these extensions load a multifunctional script whenever the users use these extensions. Post activation, the script records each URL the user is visiting and sends the data to the attacker’s domain. It includes information such as user ID, country zip code, device location, and encoded referral URL.

Five Google Chrome extensions found to be stealing user data

When it spots a user visiting an ecommerce platform where the attacker has an affiliate account, it replaces or changes the cookie to make it look like the users are visiting on affiliate links. Apparently, whenever the user buys anything from these alleged affiliate sites, the attacker gets paid as a commission and that’s pretty much how it works.

Cut to now, the extensions have been removed from Google Chrome. If you happen to be using any of these five extensions, it’s time to uninstall them to keep the attackers off the rails.

The Stats

According to the stats provided by McAfee, Netflix Party has been installed by 800,000 users while Netflix Party 2 has 300,000 users. The Full Page Screenshot Capture – Screenshotting extension has 200,000 users while the FlipShope – Price Tracker Extension and AutoBuy Flash Sales have 80,000 and 20,000 users at the time of writing this. It gives a total of 1.4 million users who are being tracked without their consent.

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Written by Nauman

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