YOUR Google Chrome extensions could get you in hot water.
That’s because, according to one researcher, hackers can use the popular browser add-ons to track you across the web.
The cyber buff calling itself “z0cc” has created a website that uses the extensions installed on someone’s PC to create a digital “fingerprint”.
This fingerprint can then be used to identify the user and track their activity on the internet.
If cyber crooks get hold of this information, they could use it to target you with scam attacks.
Z0cc published their findings on Reddit and Github, a site for software developers to share their creations.
It has long been known that it is possible to construct fingerprints, also called tracking hashes, to track users across the web.
They are created using unique details about a device connecting to a website.
Fingerprints are lawfully used by companies in the form of website cookies to help them target ads and collect data.
However, they can also be used for nefarious purposes, tracking a user’s browsing history, location, and more in order to scam them.
For example, if a scammer knows which websites you visit, they can use that information to target you with phishing attacks.
Phishing attacks lure victims to a website that appears to be operated by a trusted entity, such as B. a bank, a social media platform or another service.
However, the website is fake with fake content designed to trick a victim into entering sensitive information like a password or email address.
Z0cc has demonstrated that it is possible to create a tracking hash for the extensions installed on someone else’s Google Chrome browser.
The website can recognize any of the 1,170 most popular extensions in the Chrome Web Store.
These include Adobe Acrobat, Grammarly, Honey, LastPass, Rakuten, and uBlock.
Once the website has identified an individual’s extensions, a unique fingerprint can be created to track the victim across the internet.
There is no evidence that this technique was used by cyber criminals.
It expands the myriad ways that companies and crooks can track people online.
Due to regulatory threats, companies like Google offer some ways to monitor and delete the data they collect about you.
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