More than three million internet users are believed to have installed 15 Chrome, and 13 Edge extensions that contain malicious code, security firm Avast said today.
The 28 extensions contained code that could perform several malicious operations. Avast said it found code to:
- redirect user traffic to ads
- redirect user traffic to phishing sites
- collect personal data, such as birth dates, email addresses, and active devices
- collect browsing history
- download further malware onto a user's device
But despite the presence of code to power all the above malicious features, Avast researchers said they believe the primary objective of this campaign was to hijack user traffic for monetary gains.
"For every redirection to a third party domain, the cybercriminals would receive a payment," the company said.
Avast said it discovered the extensions last month and found evidence that some had been active since at least December 2018, when some users first started reporting issues with being redirected to other sites.