5 Google Chrome extensions are silently stealing data from Nigerians

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The Nigerian Communications Commission’s Computer Security Incident Response Team (NCC-CSIRT) said it has identified five malicious Google Chrome extensions that “surreptitiously track browser activities online and steal their data”.

NCC-CSIRT, the cybersecurity incidence center of the Nigerian telecommunications sector, said so in a statement obtained by the IFJ on Friday.

The statement, signed by Reuben Muoka, director of public affairs at NCC, said the malware was Netflix party with 800,000 downloads, Netflix Party 2 with 300,000 downloads, Full Page Screenshot Screenshot with 200,000 downloads, FlipShope Price Tracker Extension with 80,000 downloads and AutoBuy Flash Sales with 20,000 downloads.

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According to the NCC-CSIRT, the five identified Google Chrome extensions have a high probability and potential for damage. They have been downloaded over 1.4 million times and provide access to internet users who want to steal user data.

“Users of these Chrome extensions are unaware of their invasive functionality and privacy risks. The malicious extensions monitor victims’ visits to e-commerce websites and modify the visitor’s cookie to appear as if it came from a referral link. Therefore, extension developers receive affiliate fees for any purchases from e-stores, the NCC-CSIRT notice said.

Keeping malicious extensions out of the Google Chrome Web Store can be difficult, which is why the NCC-CSIRT has recommended that telecom consumers be careful when installing any browser extension.

“This includes manually removing all listed extensions from their Chrome browser. Internet users should pay close attention to the prompts of their browser extensions, such as permission to run on any website visited and data requested before installing it. Although some extensions are apparently legitimate, due to the high number of user downloads, these dangerous add-ons force users to verify the authenticity of the extensions they are accessing, said the NCC- CSIRT.

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Extensions add new functionality to the Chrome browser or modify the existing behavior of the program to make it more convenient for the user.

Google Chrome extensions are software that can be installed in Chrome in order to modify the functionality of the browser. These extensions can sometimes block ads, manage password managers or automatically change typed phrases.

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