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This dangerous fake Chrome extension could possibly be hurting your device without you knowing

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(Image credit: Shutterstock/JARIRIYAWAT)

Scammer have already been impersonating a Chrome extension for a long time, tricking thousands of users into installing adware on the endpoints (opens in new tab).

BleepingComputer found an organization called Puupnewsapp built a Chrome extension called Internet Download Manager, which promises major download improvements (around 500% download speed increase), rendering it perfect for downloading movies, games, along with other large files.

However, rather than honoring that promise, the extension does several malicious things, such as for example opening links to spammy sites, changing the default browser (opens in new tab) internet search engine, displaying pop-up ads, and prompting users to download more files and programs.

Fake reviews that are positive

These files include hxxps://www.puupnewsapp[.]com/idman638build25.exe and hxxps://www.puupnewsapp[.]com/windows.zip, with the windows.zip archive being NodeJS that executes JavaScript code to regulate Chrome and Firefox registry settings. The extension also changes the default browser internet search engine to smartwebfinder.

Regardless of the extension essentially being adware, its been sitting in the Chrome Play Store repository for at the very least 3 years. And despite numerous reviews warning users to remain away, the extension has still were able to amass a lot more than 200,000 downloads. Some reviews are positive, however, and therefore the fraudsters tried their finest to hide the reality from the users.

Among the possible known reasons for the popularity of the fraud may be the truth that there is really a geniune Internet Download Manager. The program, published by software maker Tonec, has its Firefox and Chrome extensions, called IDM Integration Module.

In addition, it seems that Tonec was quite alert to various imposters lurking in the depths of the web, as its FAQ clearly states that IDM extensions that may be within Google Store are fake and really should not be utilized.

Googles app repositories, both for Chrome, and for Android, are under a continuing barrage of attacks, with fraudsters trying their hardest to squeeze through as much malicious and fraudulent apps as you possibly can. Thats why users should always go through the reviews, and check the amount of downloads, before installing anything. Also, it wont hurt to look at other apps from exactly the same developer.

Via: BleepingComputer (opens in new tab)

Sead Fadilpašić

Sead is really a seasoned freelance journalist located in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He writes about any of it (cloud, IoT, 5G, VPN) and cybersecurity (ransomware, data breaches, regulations). In his career, spanning greater than a decade, hes written for numerous media outlets, including Al Jazeera Balkans. Hes also held several modules on article writing for Represent Communications.

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