Bogus Chrome, Firefox extensions pilfer social media accounts

The extensions carry what could be a stolen digital signature, according to Trend Micro

Trend Micro has found two malicious browser extensions that hijack Twitter, Facebook and Google+ accounts.

The attackers plant links on social media sites that, if clicked, implore users to install a video player update. It is a common method hackers use to bait people into downloading malicious software.

The bogus video player update lures people in a macabre manner: it says it leads to a video of a young woman committing suicide, according to Trend's description.

The video player update carries a cryptographic signature that is used to verify that an application came from a certain developer and has not been modified, wrote Don Ladores, a threat response engineer, with Trend.

"It is not yet clear if this signature was fraudulently issued, or a valid organization had their signing key compromised and used for this type of purpose," he wrote.

Hackers often try to steal legitimate digital certificates from other developers in an attempt to make their malware look less suspicious.

If the video update is executed, the malware then installs a bogus Firefox or Chrome extension depending on which browser the victim uses.

The malicious plugins try to appear legitimate, bearing the names Chrome Service Pack 5.0.0 and the Mozilla Service Pack 5.0. Ladores wrote that Google now blocks the extension that uses its name. Another variation of the extension claims it is the F-Secure Security Pack 6.1.0, a fake product from the Finnish security vendor.

The plugins connect to another website and download a configuration file, which allow them to steal the login credentials from a victim's social networking accounts such as Facebook, Google+, and Twitter. The attackers can then perform a variety of actions, such as like pages, share posts, update statuses and post comments, Ladores wrote.

Send news tips and comments to jeremy_kirk@idg.com. Follow me on Twitter: @jeremy_kirk

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags securityGooglemozillatrend microf-secure

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?