Although the number of malicious browser extensions has significantly increased in the past year many security products fail to offer adequate protection against them, while others are simply not designed to do so, according to a security researcher.
Attackers have already used such extensions to perform click fraud by inserting rogue advertisements into websites or by hijacking search queries, but research has shown that this type of malware has the potential to cause much more damage.
Last year Zoltan Balazs, an IT security consultant with professional services firm Deloitte in Hungary, created a proof-of-concept malicious extension that could be controlled remotely by an attacker and could steal authentication credentials, hijack accounts, modify locally displayed Web pages, take screenshots through the computer's webcam, bypass two-factor authentication systems and even download and execute malicious files on a victim's computer.
And last week the European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA) warned in its midyear report: "An increase in malicious browser extensions has been registered, aimed at taking over social network accounts."
Earlier this year Balazs investigated how various security products protect users against malicious browser extensions and presented his findings at the OHM2013 security conference near...