‘Netflix Party’ and four other Chrome extensions that are actually malware

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chrome extensions they are supposed to make your browser even better—but not all you can trust. As much as Google tries, the Chrome Web Store is not a marketplace for innocent utilities. While most are properly investigated, some escape, just as in the game store and even Apple App Store. Now we know of another group of malware masquerading as legitimate extensions, including two “Netflix” options not affiliated with the company.

McAfee Security Analysts discovered this latest batch of five malicious Chrome extensions. Together they are over 1.4millon downloads These extensions are different from each other, but have the same end goal in their design. Once you install one of these extensions on your browser, it waits for you to visit an e-commerce site, such as Best Buy or Amazon. The extension then sends your browsing data to their own domain, and if your site matches one of their affiliates, they’ll either inject your affiliate link into the page URL or hijack your cookies with theirs. Either way, the goal is to generate a commission on what you buy.

Affiliate ID Injection (McAfee Labs)

In this way, these extensions differ from typical scams. They do not look for your personal information or try to break into your accounts. Rather, they treat you and 1.4 million others as brokers for their own commissions. that doesn’t make them better than other malware, however, and should be stopped as soon as possible.

Worse yet, each malicious extension surprisingly works as advertised. FlipShope is actually a price tracker, and Full Page Screenshot Capture captures screenshots of your browser. Usually, apps and utilities that contain malware are nothing less than a front to trick you into installing them. The developers behind these Extensions, however, don’t want you to suspect a thing, as it makes them more money the longer you keep the utilities installed in Chrome.

These are the following malicious apps discovered by McAfee analysts, ordered by number of downloads:

  • netflix party: 800,000 downloads
  • netflix party 2: 300,000 downloads
  • Full Page Screenshot – Screenshot: 200,000 downloads
  • FlipShope – Price Tracker Extension: 80,000 downloads
  • Auto buy flash sales: 20,000 downloads

From this article, Auto buy flash sales Y FlipShope – Price Tracker Extension are still available in the Chrome Web Store, bu Since then, Google has deleted the other three. However, even if all five are removed from the web store, Google cannot remove them from your browser. If you installed any of these extensions on Chrome, remove them now.

How to protect yourself from malicious Chrome extensions

This problem is not new, by any means. In fact, we have covered how to avoid malicious extensions in the past. In short, the advice is similar to protecting yourself from malicious apps on the App Store:

  • Make sure you are downloading the correct extension you are looking for. Malicious extensions thrive on confusing users with a similar name to another popular extension.
  • Pay close attention to the extension’s web store listing. Is everything well written? Do the images match the advertised features?
  • Look at the reviews of the extensions. Do the reviewers seem legitimate? Are you reviewing the correct extension?
  • Do some external research on the extension before downloading it. What does Google pick up when you search for it?

Google can’t block all malicious extensions, but you can use your best judgment to avoid installing them on your browser.

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