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Chrome users: Delete these extensions, they’re stealing data

While McAfee says they’re not directly dangerous, you should still delete them.

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Image: KnowTechie

McAfee’s security researchers have found five Google Chrome extensions that are siphoning off browsing data. Some of these extensions are incredibly popular, with one having over 800,000 downloads.

They’re all set up to secretly create money for the developer or whoever added the malicious code.

They do this by analyzing your browser to see if you are on an e-commerce website. If so, they inject their own referrer or affiliate code into your browser cookies.

While McAfee says they’re not directly dangerous, you should still delete them.

Delete these five malicious Chrome extensions

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Image: KnowTechie

Again, we’re putting links here to check if you have the extension installed. Many malware-containing extensions use the same names as other legitimate extensions.

Under no circumstances should you install one of these five:

To continue the scam, the extensions all do what they say they’re supposed to. That makes it harder for users to know they’re being scammed.

All of the extensions also do something that’s not advertised. That’s creating affiliate cash for the bad actor by injecting their affiliate codes into any online purchases you make.

While Google has removed most of these extensions from the Chrome Web Store, you still need to manually delete them from your browser.

To do that, click on the puzzle piece icon next to the address bar and then on Manage extensions. Then, remove the extensions.

chrome extensions menu
Image: KnowTechie

This type of malicious code injection is even harder to guard against. The extensions worked as advertised, with useful features for the user. The reviews are mostly positive, as the affiliate scam wasn’t visible to users.

The only security advice we can give here is to ask yourself, “do you really need this extension?” If not, remove it from Chrome, or disable them when you’re not actively using them.

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Maker, meme-r, and unabashed geek. Hardware guy here at KnowTechie, if it runs on electricity (or even if it doesn't) I probably have one around here somewhere. My hobbies include photography, animation, and hoarding Reddit gold.

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