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Govt’s cyber security agency cautions users on installing Google Chrome extensions

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Internet users should exercise caution while installing Google Chrome extensions as the company has removed over 100 malicious links after they were found collecting “sensitive” user data, country’s cybersecurity agency said Wednesday.

The Computer Emergency Response Team of India (CERT-In), the national technology arm to combat cyberattacks and guard the Indian cyberspace, said it has also been found that these extensions contained code to bypass Google Chrome’s web store security scans.

The malicious extensions had the ability to take screenshots, read the clipboard, harvest authentication cookies or grab user keystrokes to read passwords and other confidential information, it said.

“It has been reported that Google has removed 106 extensions of the Google Chrome browser from the chrome web store which were found collecting sensitive user data,” the agency said in the advisory.

“These extensions reportedly posed as tools to improve web searches, convert files between different formats as security scanners and more,” it added.

The federal cybersecurity agency suggested users to uninstall Google Chrome extensions with IDs given in the IOCs (organisational chart) section.

Also Read: Over 40,000 suspected cyber attacks from China: Maharashtra 

Users can visit the chrome extensions page and subsequently enable developer mode to see if they have installed any of the malicious extensions and then remove them from their browsers, it said.

The agency advised Internet users to only install extensions that are absolutely needed and refer user reviews before doing so.

They should uninstall extensions that are not in use, it said, adding that users should not install extensions from unverified sources.

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