New Report: Unveiling the Threat of Malicious Browser Extensions

New Report: Unveiling the Threat of Malicious Browser Extensions

December 6, 2023 at 06:54AM

Browser extensions present high-risk vectors for cyber-attacks, exploiting users’ trust through three types: initially malicious, compromised, and risky due to excessive permissions. The LayerX report highlights this threat and recommends vigilance in installation methods and identifying signs of potential harm, emphasizing the need for educated choices and robust security protocols in organizations.

Meeting Takeaways:

1. **The Problem with Browser Extensions:**
– Browser extensions are vulnerable to attacks, becoming a frequent vector for adversaries.
– They can be turned malicious through the actions of developers or by attacks on legitimate extensions.

2. **Recent Incidents:**
– Incidents like DataSpii and Nigelthorn showcase the serious threats from malicious extensions, impacting user privacy and security.

3. **Core Issue:**
– The excessive and poorly defined permissions granted to extensions allow attackers to exploit them.

4. **Report Offerings:**
– A report by LayerX titled “Unveiling the Threat of Malicious Browser Extensions” has been released, detailing the risks and providing mitigation recommendations.

5. **Types of Malicious Extensions:**
– Initially Malicious: Deliberately created by attackers.
– Compromised: Legitimate extensions that become malicious.
– Risky: Legitimate but with excessive permissions that create vulnerabilities.

6. **Installation Methods & Security Implications:**
– Admin Installation: Centrally managed with the possibility of security risks.
– Normal Installation: User-downloaded with risks dependent on user choices.
– Developer Installation: Local loading bypassing vetting, increasing risk.
– Sideload Installation: Third-party application installs, prone to exploitation.

7. **User Installation Statistics:**
– 81% of extensions are installed by users from official browser stores.

8. **Indicators of Potentially Malicious Extensions:**
– Lack of contact information.
– Infrequent updates.
– Missing privacy policy.
– Ratings and number of users rating the extension.
– Absence of a support site.
– Small user base.
– No official website.
– Availability outside official browser stores.
– Non-traditional installation methods.
– Questionable free promotions.

9. **Key Categories of Information in Report:**
– Risky permissions.
– Browser extension attack vectors.
– Mitigation techniques.

10. **Actionable Advice:**
– Security professionals should familiarize themselves with the report’s findings.
– Cybersecurity practices should evolve to address the threat of malicious extensions.

11. **Additional Information:**
– Follow LayerX on Twitter and LinkedIn for more content.

12. **Recommendation for IT Departments:**
– Educate employees on safe practices regarding extensions.
– Create policies that regulate the use and permissions of browser extensions.

[**Note:** The “click here” links provided in the original notes are not actionable in this written takeaway format and should be accessed in the original document for further information.]

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