Safeguarding your business against browser extension scams

Tech Blog
Cyber Security
November 21, 2023
Beware Browser Extension Threats
  • Cyber criminals use hidden and spoofed extensions to steal sensitive information from your business accounts.
  • Stay vigilant and only download extensions from trusted sources; always verify before clicking on sponsored links.
  • If you're concerned about your business's cyber security, consider contacting a professional service like The One Point for tailored solutions.

How often do you scrutinise the browser extensions you install for your business? Could you be unknowingly inviting cyber criminals into your digital space? It's a sobering thought. We often associate cyber threats with suspicious emails or unsecured websites, but danger could be lurking in your browser toolbar.

With business owners and their teams viewing powerful extensions such as ChatGTP, AdBlock and Grammery as tools to supercharge their day, it's easy to be lulled into a false sense of security when installing another.

Cyber criminals have noticed and are exploiting this user behaviour, using browser extensions to hack into accounts and steal sensitive information. They craft fake extensions that mimic legitimate ones and even spoof real extensions, making them difficult to spot. 

As business owners, understanding these threats and how to mitigate them is crucial for your company's cyber security.

Would you think to check browser extension for cyber threats, we would, and a whole lot more too in a FREE Cyber Security Audit for your business.

The Invisible Enemy: Hidden Extensions

Cyber criminals have developed a cunning strategy using hidden extensions. These malicious browser extensions are designed to steal email information. For instance, you might receive a phishing email urging you to download an extension for your Google Chrome browser - ironically, it may even promise greater security. Though it appears legitimate, it's actually harmful. Once downloaded, the extension remains concealed unless a specific address is entered in the address bar. The next time you access your business Gmail account, the extension activates, stealing your email content.

Beware of Imposters: Spoofed Extensions

Spoofed extensions present another form of threat. Here, cyber criminals create harmful duplicates of real browser extensions. A notable example is the spoofed version of the Google Chrome extension for ChatGPT, a renowned AI chatbox. This deceptive extension may not be visible in your browser's toolbar or extension list, but it operates covertly in the background. It looks genuine, but it's a counterfeit of the genuine extension containing extra malicious code. After installing this extension, the harmful code can steal your Facebook business account information.

Keeping Your Business Safe: 6 Cyber Security Measures to take

The potential damage from these threats can be significant, but there are steps you can take to safeguard your business:

1. Be Browser-Wise: Remember that this tactic isn't exclusive to Google. Be vigilant before downloading an extension for any internet browser.

2. Trust Verified Sources Only: Only add extensions to your browser from trusted sources, such as the Chrome Web Store. Pay attention to emails that prompt you to click links instead of directing you to the extension publisher's home page.

3. Verify Before Clicking: Before clicking a sponsored link, hover your mouse over it. Ensure that the link leads to a legitimate, safe website that matches the content in the related search result.

4. Regularly Audit Extensions: Frequently review and remove unnecessary extensions from your browsers. This reduces the potential attack surface for cybercriminals.

5. Check Reviews and Ratings: Before installing an extension, check its reviews and ratings. A low rating or bad reviews could indicate potential issues.

6. Educate Your Team: Make sure your team is aware of the risks associated with browser extensions. Regularly conduct cybersecurity awareness training.

If you're concerned about your business's cyber security, we invite you to reach out to us at The One Point. We specialise in providing comprehensive cyber security solutions tailored to your unique business needs.

Invest in Security. Your business is worth protecting. Click here to schedule your free cybersecurity audit today.

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