Within last week, some Google Chrome developers have been hacked with web browser extensions used by millions now freely distributing malware. Google Chrome web browser extensions are under attack by hackers. Two popular web browser extensions in the Chrome Web Store have been hijacked by cybercriminals in the last two weeks.
The German developer team behind Copyfish, a successful OCR extension was targeted by Hackers, they modified it with ad-injection capabilities to distribute spam to its users. Again, unknown attackers have hijacked another hugely-successful Chrome Web Store developer
According to the creator of a popular Chrome extension called Web Developer, Chris Pederick, hackers phished the Google account linked to his app, updated Web Developer, and pushed the hijacked app out to its 1,044,000 users. This is exactly the same technique used to spread malware with the Copyfish extension.
The Firefox version of both the web browser extensions are still unaffected.
Cybercriminals have pushed-out the update to the web extension – laced with malware – from the Chrome Web Store by targeting the developers’ Google accounts.
Chris Pederick said that the malicious software incorporated into his app injected advertisements on webpages on users’ computer. It is believed that a reasonable commission must have been made by the hackers from these adverts.
To worsen the situation is the fact that the Chrome plugin has access to almost everything that takes place within users’ web browser – enabling the malware-ridden software to read website content, intercept traffic, record keystrokes, and more.
Before the malicious version of Web Developer was pulled, it was only live on the Chrome Web Store for six hours. Since then, Chris Pederick has fixed the extension and pushed-out an update to users.
Web Developer users are advised to update their Chrome extension to version 0.5 as soon as possible.
"So far, the update looks like standard adware hack, but, as we still have no control over Copyfish, the thieves might update the extension another time… until we get it back," the team behind Copyfish cautioned users. "We can not even disable it – as it is no longer in our developer account" they added.
It is believed that Google is working with the developers to provide them access to their own Chrome browser extension.