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20 Dec 12 Brazilian company selling ‘iPhone’ that runs Android — legally


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SAO PAULO — It’s not your Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone.

A Brazilian company has begun selling smartphones in Brazil with the iPhone brand after winning the legal right to use the name in Latin America’s biggest country. Adding insult to Apple’s injury, the phone runs on the Android operating system from archrival Google (GOOG).

Gradiente said in a statement that it filed its request to use the iPhone brand in 2000 when it realized “there would be a technological revolution in the world of cellphones with the convergence of voice and data transmission and reception via mobile Internet.”

In 2008, Brazil’s government gave Gradiente the right to use the brand on its cellphones.

Brazilian trademark office spokeswoman Maratan Marques said Gradiente requested permission to use the brand before Apple did and has the exclusive right to use it through 2018.

Brazil Apple spokeswoman Maria Parra Rodriguez said the company had no immediate comment. Phone calls and emails to Apple’s headquarters in California went unanswered.

Gradiente said on its website that it started selling its iPhone on Tuesday for $300. It runs the relatively

old 2.3 version of Android and its features include a 3.7-inch touch-sensitive screen, Bluetooth, dual chip capability, 3G, Wi-Fi and camera. Its appearance is similar to that of Apple’s iPhone.

The Brazilian company said it did not use the iPhone name until now because its “priority was to conclude a corporate restructuring process that ended earlier this year.”

“In Brazil, Gradiente has the exclusive right to use the iPhone brand,” the statement said. “This company will adopt all the measures used by companies around the world to preserve its intellectual property rights.”

A company official said Apple had not contacted Gradiente and she didn’t know of any attempt by Apple to contest Gradiente’s use of the iPhone name.

The executive, who insisted on speaking anonymously because she was not authorized to speak to the press, added that she did not know if Gradiente would try to stop Apple iPhone sales in Brazil.

Major cellphone operators and retail outlets advertised Apple iPhones on their websites Wednesday.

Article source: http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_22226289/brazilian-company-selling-iphone-that-runs-android-legally

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19 Dec 12 Rocket Internet’s Mobile Payments Startup Payleven Expands Android Support …


More news in the European mobile payment dongle space this morning: Rocket Internet’s Payleven is expanding the availability of its Android app — previously only offered in Germany — to three more markets: the U.K., Italy and Poland, where the app can now be downloaded from Google’s Play Store.

Payleven’s iOS app is available in all markets it operates in — namely: the U.K., Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Italy and Brazil — but Payleven said the Android ecosystem is a harder nut to crack, thanks to its diversity of hardware. A spokeswoman for Payleven said: “As Android decives have different hardware components, it needs refinement to ensure app liablity. So to actually launch Android perfectly in many countries is a long [process].”

Despite being more complex, having Android support is essential to growing user-base since Android is such a dominant smartphone platform — accounting for some 70 percent of all smartphone shipments globally. It’s also particularly popular in Europe — accounting for more than 70 percent of sales in Germany for instance (Kantar‘s figure).

Payleven’s Android app supports a range of Android devices — focusing on “popular” handsets including the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, Galaxy SII and Galaxy SIII, and the HTC One Series line: the One X, S and V.  The app allows merchants to accept card payments by using the dongle plugged into a compatible smartphone (or tablet). Payleven then takes a per transaction fee of 2.75%.

Payleven said all its apps support its current Swipe and Sign dongle — but will also support card payment processing via an upcoming Chip PIN dongle, due to launch in all Payleven’s European markets in early 2013.

It says it’s adding a Chip PIN product as the technology is more secure and is required to enter certain markets (such as France). ”Payleven is aiming to redefine the highest standard for mobile payment applications by offering a mobile ChipPIN solution with the only fully compliant card reader to accept all major debit and credit cards and provide users with full fraud protection,” said Ian Marsh, Payleven UK CEO co-founder, in a statement.


  • PAYLEVEN

Payleven is a device that attaches to your smartphone or tablet with iOS or Android which allows credit card processing.

→ Learn more

Article source: http://techcrunch.com/2012/12/19/rocket-internets-mobile-payments-startup-payleven-expands-android-support-outside-germany-app-now-also-in-uk-italy-poland/

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02 Jun 12 Chrome steals second place from Firefox in browser wars


Editor’s Note: This story is excerpted from Computerworld. For more Mac coverage, visit Computerworld’s Macintosh Knowledge Center.


  • Apple’s Safari grows faster than Chrome in July
  • Chrome, Safari reach record browser share highs


  • Internet Explorer on pace to drop below 50-percent share by 2011

  • Chrome again beats Firefox in browser gain race

  • Firefox 4 tops 100 million downloads, fails to move share

  • Opera is Facebook’s best browser play

Google’s Chrome passed Mozilla’s Firefox in May to become the world’s second-most-popular browser, according to data released by Web analytics company Net Applications.

The California-based firm was the second major metric company to track Chrome’s run to second. In November 2011, Irish measurement vendor StatCounter said Chrome had passed Firefox in its estimates.

Net Applications’ spot swapping came as a surprise: Earlier projections by Computerworld had pointed to a delay in Chrome’s capture of second place, perhaps to as late as August.

But in May, Chrome gained 1.3 percentage points, more than double its average increase over the last 12 months, to climb to 20.2%, while Firefox lost six-tenths of a point to fall to 19.6%.

Last month was the first time that Chrome cracked the 20% mark—the browser debuted in September 2008—and the first time that Firefox fell under that number in Net Applications’ data since October of the same year.

Firefox, backed by open-source developer Mozilla, peaked at just over 25% in April 2010, and has been on a slow-but-steady decline in usage share since then.

For Microsoft, May was a return to a more traditional pattern: Internet Explorer (IE) lost half a percentage point to end the month at 53.6%. May’s decline put an end to the two-month-in-a-row growth IE had experienced, and returned the browser to near the share it owned last March.

Even so, IE has gained share in three of the first five months of 2012.

Within the IE family, IE9 continued its ascent, adding one percentage point to account for 16.9% of all browsers on all operating systems. IE8 also was up, boosting its share by nearly half a point to 26.7%.

The other editions—2006’s IE7 and the 11-year-old IE6—lost share in May. IE6, the version Microsoft wants to disappear, lost a point last month, falling to 6.1%, a record low in Net Applications’ tracking. IE7 shed seven-tenths of a percentage point to drop to 3.4%, also a record.

While the shift toward IE9 can be attributed to the increasing uptake of Windows 7, IE8’s recent rebound is harder to explain. IE8 has grown its share in four of the first five months of the year compared to only two such months during all of 2011.

The shift toward IE8 and the above-average declines of both IE6 and IE7 so far this year may be due to Microsoft’s new practice of automatically upgrading older versions. Late last year, the company said it would begin to silently force Windows to upgrade IE to the newest-possible edition, ending a tradition of asking users’ permission for such moves.

In January, Microsoft started upgrading some PCs running Windows XP from IE6 or IE7 to IE8, and swapping IE9 for IE7 or IE8 on Vista and Windows 7.

The process started in Australia and Brazil, and is to gradually roll out worldwide this year. Microsoft has declined to provide the names of countries where it has switched on the silent IE upgrades.

Apple’s Safari lost two-tenths of a point last month to end at 4.6%, while Opera Software’s Opera was flat at 1.6%.

StatCounter’s calculations, however, were considerably different than Net Applications’, as they tend to be.

Net Applications had IE falling by almost two percentage points to 32.1%, while Chrome grew by 1.2 percentage points to 32.4%, making good on reports throughout May that showed Chrome would kick IE out of first place. Firefox, said StatCounter, climbed to 25.6%, while Safari and Opera didn’t budge, accounting for shares of 7.1% and 1.7%, respectively.

Net Applications calculates browser usage share with data obtained from more than 160 million unique visitors who browse 40,000 websites that the company monitors. More browser share figures can be found on the company’s site.


See more by Gregg Keizer on Computerworld.com.

Article source: http://www.macworld.com/article/1167053/chrome_steals_second_place_from_firefox_in_browser_wars.html

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01 Jun 12 Chrome Steals Second From Firefox in Browser Wars


Google’s Chrome passed Mozilla’s Firefox in May to become the world’s second-most-popular browser, according to data released today by Web analytics company Net Applications.

The California-based firm was the second major metric company to track Chrome’s run to second. In November 2011, Irish measurement vendor StatCounter said Chrome had passed Firefox in its estimates.

Net Applications’ spot swapping came as a surprise: Earlier projections by Computerworld had pointed to a delay in Chrome’s capture of second place, perhaps to as late as August.

But in May, Chrome gained 1.3 percentage points, more than double its average increase over the last 12 months, to climb to 20.2%, while Firefox lost six-tenths of a point to fall to 19.6%.

Last month was the first time that Chrome cracked the 20% mark — the browser debuted in September 2008 — and the first time that Firefox fell under that number in Net Applications’ data since October of the same year.

Chrome Steals Second From Firefox in Browser WarsChrome Steals Second From Firefox in Browser WarsFirefox, backed by open-source developer Mozilla, peaked at just over 25% in April 2010, and has been on a slow-but-steady decline in usage share since then.

For Microsoft, May was a return to a more traditional pattern: Internet Explorer (IE) lost half a percentage point to end the month at 53.6%. May’s decline put an end to the two-month-in-a-row growth IE had experienced, and returned the browser to near the share it owned last March.

Even so, IE has gained share in three of the first five months of 2012.

Within the IE family, IE9 continued its ascent, adding one percentage point to account for 16.9% of all browsers on all operating systems. IE8 also was up, boosting its share by nearly half a point to 26.7%.

The other editions — 2006′s IE7 and the 11-year-old IE6 — lost share in May. IE6, the version Microsoft wants to disappear, lost a point last month, falling to 6.1%, a record low in Net Applications’ tracking. IE7 shed seven-tenths of a percentage point to drop to 3.4%, also a record.

While the shift toward IE9 can be attributed to the increasing uptake of Windows 7, IE8′s recent rebound is harder to explain. IE8 has grown its share in four of the first five months of the year compared to only two such months during all of 2011.

The shift toward IE8 and the above-average declines of both IE6 and IE7 so far this year may be due to Microsoft’s new practice of automatically upgrading older versions. Late last year, the company said it would begin to silently force Windows to upgrade IE to the newest-possible edition, ending a tradition of asking users’ permission for such moves.

In January, Microsoft started upgrading some PCs running Windows XP from IE6 or IE7 to IE8, and swapping IE9 for IE7 or IE8 on Vista and Windows 7.

The process started in Australia and Brazil, and is to gradually roll out worldwide this year. Microsoft has declined to provide the names of countries where it has switched on the silent IE upgrades.

Apple‘s Safari lost two-tenths of a point last month to end at 4.6%, while Opera Software’s Opera was flat at 1.6%.

StatCounter’s calculations, however, were considerably different than Net Applications’, as they tend to be.

Net Applications had IE falling by almost two percentage points to 32.1%, while Chrome grew by 1.2 percentage points to 32.4%, making good on reports throughout May that showed Chrome would kick IE out of first place. Firefox, said StatCounter, climbed to 25.6%, while Safari and Opera didn’t budge, accounting for shares of 7.1% and 1.7%, respectively.

Net Applications calculates browser usage share with data obtained from more than 160 million unique visitors who browse 40,000 Web sites that the company monitors. More browser share figures can be found on the company’s site.

Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, on Google+ or subscribe to Gregg’s RSS feed. His email address is gkeizer@computerworld.com.

See more by Gregg Keizer on Computerworld.com.

Read more about browsers in Computerworld’s Browsers Topic Center.

Article source: http://www.pcworld.com/article/256624/chrome_steals_second_from_firefox_in_browser_wars.html

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24 May 12 Google Android, Windows Malware Skyrockets in Q1: McAfee Report


Mobile malware targeting Google Android devices exploded in the first few months of 2012, according to a new report from McAfee.

Nearly 7,000 Android threats were identified and collected through the end of the 2012 first quarter, according to McAfee’s threat report.

This represents a more than 1,200 percent increase when compared with the 600 Android samples identified by the company by the end of 2011. The majority of these threats originate from third-party app stores as opposed to Google Play, the security firm said.

“I’d definitely steer clear of any third-party sites providing Android apps,” said Adam Wosotowsky, messaging data architect at McAfee Labs.

“The Android marketplace is open to anyone who wants to put their app on it unless that app doesn’t pass Google’s multi-layered quality checks. So you obviously wouldn’t want an app that couldn’t be put onto Android’s marketplace and I can’t think of any good reasons why a developer would say that they don’t want their app on the android marketplace but want it on third-party sites,” Wosotowsky said.

Malware targeting Windows PCs jumped as well, reaching the highest level detected in a single quarter in four years, according to the firm. In the fourth quarter of 2011, McAfee Labs had collected more than 75 million malware samples.

In the first quarter of 2012, the company detected 83 million pieces. Driving that increase was a bump in the number of rootkits and password stealers, with the latter reaching approximately 1 million samples. The main medium for propagating highly targeted attacks is email, with nearly all targeted attacks beginning with a spear phishing message.

Earlier this year, Google announced it was improving security for Android’s app marketplace with a malware detection system nicknamed “Bouncer,” which analyzes new applications before they are sold in the market to see if they contain known malware.

Financial profit is the main motivator for mobile malware, according to McAfee. Overall, 8,000 total mobile malware samples were collected during the quarter.

Though Mac malware was in the news during the past two months due to growth of the Flashback Trojan, the amount of Mac malware is still relatively tiny. According to McAfee, roughly 250 new Mac malware samples were detected in the quarter.

The botnet business continues to thrive, though global spam levels dropped to approximately 1 trillion monthly spam messages by the end of March. Decreases were the most significant in Brazil, Indonesia, Brazil and Russia, while China, Germany, Spain, Poland and the U.K. saw increases.

Botnet growth increased in the first quarter, reaching nearly five million infections at its highest point. Columbia, Japan, Poland, Spain, and the United States were the areas with the largest increase in botnet activity, while Indonesia, Portugal and South Korea were regions that continued to decline. The most prevalent botnet during the quarter was Cutwail, with more than two million new infections.

The United States was found to host most botnet control servers and is the location point for the vast majority of new malicious Websites, with an average of 9,300 new bad sites recorded each day. The United States was also the primary source of SQL injection and cross-site scripting attacks during the quarter, and had the highest number of victims of both kinds of attacks, the report stated.

“In the first quarter of 2012, we have already detected eight million new malware samples, showing that malware authors are continuing their unrelenting development of new malware,” said Vincent Weafer, senior vice president of McAfee Labs, in a statement.

“The same skills and techniques that were sharpened on the PC platform are increasingly being extended to other platforms, such as mobile and Mac; and as more homes and businesses use these platforms the attacks will spread, which is why all users, no matter their platforms, should take security and online safety precautions,” Weafer’s statement said.



Article source: http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Security/Google-Android-Windows-Malware-Skyrockets-in-Q1-McAfee-Report-668721/

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19 May 12 Banking Trojan poses as Google Chrome installer


Online financial fraudsters are hiding their latest bank-account-stealing weapon inside what appears to be a legitimate Google Chrome installer.

The downloadable file, “ChromeSetup.exe,” contains a sophisticated, multifaceted banking Trojan that, once running on a system, relays that computer’s information to a remote IP address. Most of the compromised browsers connect to IP addresses in Brazil and Peru, researchers at Trend Micro explained. The fake Chrome installer appears to be hosted on popular domains including Facebook, Google and MSN.

The real danger occurs when the malware implants a file that triggers the victim’s Web browser to redirect to a rigged banking site when the user attempts to visit his legitimate banking platform. The Trojan, identified as “TSPY_BANKER.EUIQ,” hijacks the user’s banking session and displays a dialogue box that reads, “Loading system security,” giving the victim the belief that he’s actually being protected when, in fact, the crooks are picking his virtual pockets.

[9 Safe Ways to Bank Online With Your Smartphone]

Adding insult to injury, the Trojan uninstalls GbPlugin, a software plugin built to protect Brazilian online banking customers. Trend Micro said the malware, which was first spotted in October 2011, is currently being used in the wild and is morphing to evade detection and more effectively fleece its victims.

You can protect yourself and your online banking sessions by making sure any site that requires you to enter your financial information is secured with “HTTPS” encryption — look for “HTTPS” highlighted in green and a picture of a lock in your Web browser. If a website seems suspicious, or requests information you don’t feel comfortable handing over, do not trust it.

© 2012 SecurityNewsDaily. All rights reserved

Article source: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/47467023/ns/technology_and_science-security/

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03 Apr 12 Google Chrome Loses Market Share to Internet Explorer


google-chrome-logoIn our latest installment of the browser wars, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (IE) has started to regain its share of the browser market at the expense of rival browsers, particularly Mozilla’s Firefox and Google Chrome.

IE has made a comeback this year, increasing its market share by 2 percent from December 2011 to March 2012 to 53.83 percent, according to the data from Net Applications. This follows a period of decreasing popularity between May and December last year for the browser, during which it lost more than 5 percent of its users.

Firefox usage has generally declined since May 2011 to this March, falling roughly 2 percent to 20.55 percent of the market.

Meanwhile, Google Chrome increased its user base between May and December last year by nearly 6 percent, but in recent months it has been losing users. Chrome now sits at 18.57 percent of the market.

Apple’s Safari browser had slowly increased its market share since May last year to as high as 5.24 percent, although it appeared to take a popularity hit in December and January and has now fallen to 5.07 percent in March.

While the figures are good news for Microsoft, the firm is still under threat in the market with Chrome passing IE usage on a single day during March, for the first time in its history, according to StatCounter.

The company’s research showed that the spike was largely due to heavy usage in India, Russia, and Brazil, indicating a wider trend of increased Chrome usage over weekends. The phenomenon was taken by analysts as a sign that consumers commonly use IE for work purposes during the week and Chrome for home browsing.

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Article source: http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2165521/Google-Chrome-Loses-Market-Share-to-Internet-Explorer

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28 Mar 12 Shoplifters hit up Chrome Store for Facebook data



Then Kaspersky’s Fabio Assolini, a lab expert, said one bit of malware especially caught his team’s attention because the malicious extension was hosted on Google’s own Chrome Web Store. “At this time,” Assolini said in a March 23 blog, “the malicious app has 923 users.”

The extension presented itself as Adobe Flash Player. After installation, the extension could gain complete control of the victim’s first by downloading a script file. The script file had instructions to send commands to the victim’s Facebook profile. The result was the eventual spread of a malicious message, inviting more users to install the fake extension.

So what’s in such a scheme for the malware makers? Profit, in the form of selling Facebook “likes” to businesses looking for (ironically) a reputation boost and may be willing to pay the $27 charged for 1,000 “likes.”

According to reports, Google personnel removed the malicious extension after Kaspersky informed them of the hustle – titled Trojan.JS.Agent.bxo—which the Kaspersky experts had discovered on March 6 in a previous similar attack.

According to Ars Technica, a Google response was, “When we detect items containing malware or learn of them through reports, we remove them from the Chrome and from active Chrome instances. We’ve already removed several of these extensions, and we are improving our automated systems to help detect them even faster.”

Beyond the Store, one security plus for Google was the launch, earlier this year, of Bouncer, which scans the Android Market for malicious apps. The scan happens when developers first upload an app to the Market and then periodically after that.

The Bouncer safeguard does not, however, seem to console observers over thieves who find ways to outsmart Facebook and Google.

Those behind the cash-for-likes scheme “are uploading new extensions regularly, in a cat and mouse game,” said Kaspersky’s Assolini.

Kaspersky Lab noticed a “huge wave” of attacks in Brazil. Without naming the miscreants, Assolini’s column warning users to “think twice” before installing Chrome extensions simply referred to “Brazil’s bad guys” turning their attention to Chrome and Facebook, which are now Brazil’s two key go-to places on the Internet. Recent statistics show that Google has become the most popular browser in Brazil with more than 45 percent of market share. is the most popular social network in Brazil, with 42 million users, displacing Orkut.

More information: http://www.securel … e_extensions

© 2012 PhysOrg.com

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Article source: http://www.physorg.com/news/2012-03-shoplifters-chrome-facebook.html

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28 Mar 12 Chrome Web Store hit by Facebook hijacking extensions


Faithful Geek readers who surf with Google Chrome wouldn’t be fooled by the extension listed above. But  the fact that it’s pretending to be Adobe Flash Player coupled with the fact that it’s hiding out in the official Chrome Web Store is more than enough to trick some users — about a thousand so far.

Security researchers at Kaspersky Labs spotted this wave of malicious extensions in Brazil, where Chrome has become the most popular web browser in the country. Fraudsters took that into account when hatching their scheme, which involves selling Facebook likes to unscrupulous types who want to give their brands a boost and don’t care to play by the rules. The going rate is about $27 for 1,000 likes.

To push their cash-for-likes system, the people behind these extensions are sneakily advertising them on Facebook. As is the case with a lot of social imaging malware, the ads claim to offer users a way to re-color their profiles or track who’s looking at them — or even to remove the “virus” that’s infecting their profiles. Once installed, the extensions begin spamming likes and posting messages to walls enticing other users to download.

As long as you’re paying attention, you’re not likely to get caught in a snare like this. If you’re after a Facebook profile customizer, a Chrome extension that appears to be Flash Player obviously isn’t what you were looking for and you should skip installing it. That goes double since you’re using Chrome, which already has its own built-in Flash Player anyway.

Malicious extensions in the Chrome Web Store aren’t a new thing, but this activity in Brazil shows that the bad guys are hatching more elaborate plots and employing techniques similar to those used by Android Market/Google Play malware. Guess it’s time for Google to turn Bouncer loose on the Web Store, too.

More at Kaspersky


Article source: http://www.geek.com/articles/news/chrome-web-store-hit-by-facebook-hijacking-extensions-20120327/

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27 Mar 12 Facebook Profile Hijackers Post Extensions In The Chrome Web Store


Facebook Profile Hijackers Post Extensions In The Chrome Web Store

Google’s Chrome browser has grown immensely in popularity in the three years since its release. Though still playing a distinct second fiddle to Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, Chrome has become one of the most popular browsers in the world – even beating out Mozilla Firefox in many places. Chrome, like Firefox, allows the installation of third-party browser extensions – little pieces of software that modify the browser to add any number of useful, entertaining, or just plain random features. With Chrome, these are hosted in the Chrome Web Store.

Thanks to Google’s philosophy on openness, anyone can upload a browser extension to the Chrome Web Store, and according to a recent security report, that may not be such a good thing. According to Fabio Assolini, security expert with Kapersky Lab, scammers have been uploading malicious extensions to the Chrome Web Store and disguising them as ordinary browser extensions. In this case, the extension was listed as Adobe Flash Player. Instead, once installed the extension takes control of a user’s Facebook profile.

Chrome extension pretends to be Flash but actually hijacks your Facebook profile.

Once it has control of your profile, it starts posting messages encouraging your friends to install the same extension. It also starts liking various pages. This last part is the reason for the extension’s existence: the extension is part of a scam whereby scammers sell Likes to companies that want to promote their pages. The businesses pay the scammers, and the scammers use the extension to drum up the promised number of likes.

When Assolini found the extension in the Chrome Web Store, it had 923 users. Once Google was notified of its existence, it was removed. Shortly thereafter, though, extensions from the same scammers were popping back up in the Chrome Web Store. Malicious browser extensions can be more problematic than other forms of profile hijacking. If a scammer gets their hands on your Facebook (or Twitter, or email) password, then the solution is simply to change your password. In this case, though, changing your password does not help so long as you continue to use the infected browser, and since the extension masquerades as something else, it can be difficult to identify the culprit.

Now, the extension Assolini found was concentrated in Brazil, where Chrome enjoys 45% of the browser market and Facebook is by far the most popular social network. That does not, however, mean that the problem is isolated to Brazil. The malicious extension was installed in numerous countries, including the U.S.:

Facebook hijacking Chrome extension around the world.

Of course, as is nearly always the case, there are clues that indicate that this is a scam. First and foremost, Adobe Flash Player isn’t a browser extension. It’s a plug-in, and it’s installed outside the browser. Second, there’s the app’s publisher: it’s listed as AppFace, not Adobe. An official Adobe extension would be listed as coming from Adobe.

The moral of the story is one of the basic rules of safety on the internet: be cautious and use your head when installing anything, be it software or a browser extension. The popularity of Google Chrome combined with the open nature of the Chrome Web Store make for a ripe target for scammers, and malicious browser extensions have the potential to be very nasty indeed.

Article source: http://www.webpronews.com/facebook-profile-hijackers-post-extensions-in-the-chrome-web-store-2012-03

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