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BREAKING: 75 Million Users Fall Victim to Malicious Chrome Extensions

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The web is more complex than it appears. This fact became clear when 28 risky Chrome extensions were taken down from the web store. With these extensions reaching 75 million users, it’s clear evidence that hidden cybersecurity threats are all too common. 

What Makes These Extensions Malicious? 

Malicious Chrome extensions work under the radar. They hide in your browser, only to inject ads into your search results or use your profile to spread spam.

These deceptive tools fool both Google and users, often lying dormant for 24 hours post-installation – a classic red flag for malicious intent. This isn’t a small issue, but a major disruption affecting millions.

Some of the extensions identified as threats were: 

  • Autoskip for Youtube – 9 million active users 
  • Soundboost – 6.9 million active users 
  • Crystal Ad block – 6.8 million active users 
  • Brisk VPN – 5.6 million active users 
  • Clipboard Helper – 3.5 million active users 
  • Maxi Refresher – 3.5 million active users 
  • PDF Toolbox – 2 million active users 

Most of them are listed as “Featured” in the Chrome Web Store. These extensions reached millions of users, showing just how important it is to be aware of potential online risks. 

Protective Measures  

Staying safe online is crucial, and here are some key measures to consider: 

  • Be mindful of permissions and extension requests. No extension should need unlimited access to your data. 
  • Stay updated on potential threats by following trusted news sources. 
  • Use reputable security software that can alert you to hidden threats. 

We might feel secure browsing behind our screens, but the truth is, cybersecurity is an ongoing fight and we’re all on the frontline. With some of the extensions still available for download, it pays to stay alert. Knowledge is power in this arena, helping us to keep our online journeys safe and secure.  

Ahmed Khanji

Ahmed Khanji

Ahmed Khanji is the CEO of Gridware, a leading cybersecurity consultancy based in Sydney, Australia. An emerging thought leader in cybersecurity, Ahmed is an Adjunct Professor at Western Sydney University and regularly contributes to cybersecurity conversations in Australia. As well as his extensive background as a security advisor to large Australian Enterprises, he is a regular keynote speaker and guest lecturer on offensive cybersecurity topics and blockchain.

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