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28 Mar 12 Malicious Chrome extensions target Facebook accounts

With Google‘s Chrome looming as the most popular browser in many areas of the world, Brazilian bad guys are luring users into downloading extensions that may target users of social networking site Facebook.

Kaspersky Labs said it noted a huge wave of attacks targeting Brazilian Facebook users, based on the distribution of malicious extensions.

“There are several themes used in these attacks, including ‘Change the color of your profile’ and ‘Discover who visited your profile’ and some bordering on social engineering such as ‘Learn how to remove the virus from your Facebook profile,’” it said.

Worse, it said the Brazilian malware authors appear to be playing cat-and-mouse with Google, where they upload malware on Google’s Chrome Web Store.

In the case of the latest malware, Kaspersky said the malicious extension presents itself as “Adobe Flash Player.”

“After installation, the malicious extension can gain complete control of the victim’s (Facebook) profile, by first downloading a script file (that) has instructions to send commands to the victim’s Facebook profile, such as spreading a malicious message, inviting more users to install the fake extension,” it said.

The malware has infected users in Brazil and Portugal, it added.

“We reported this malicious extension to Google and they removed it quickly. But we noted the bad guys behind this malicious scheme are uploading new extensions regularly, in a cat-and-mouse game,” it said.

Kaspersky said the malware authors appear to be selling “Likes” on Facebook, focusing on companies that want to promote their profiles.

To sell the “Likes,” they use the profile of the victims, it added.

“Be careful when using Facebook. And think twice before installing a Google Chrome extension,” it advised. — TJD, GMA News

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