from the uninstall-this-malware-immediately dept.
Adblocking extensions with more than 300,000 active users have been surreptitiously uploading user browsing data and tampering with users' social media accounts thanks to malware its new owner introduced a few weeks ago, according to technical analyses and posts on Github.
Hugo Xu, developer of the Nano Adblocker and Nano Defender extensions, said 17 days ago that he no longer had the time to maintain the project and had sold the rights to the versions available in Google's Chrome Web Store. Xu told me that Nano Adblocker and Nano Defender, which often are installed together, have about 300,000 installations total.
Four days ago, Raymond Hill, maker of the uBlock Origin extension upon which Nano Adblocker is based, revealed that the new developers had rolled out updates that added malicious code.
[...] The incident is the latest example of someone acquiring an established browser extension or Android app and using it to infect the large user base that already has it installed. It's hard to provide actionable advice for preventing this kind of abuse. The Nano extensions weren't some fly-by-night operation. Users had every reason to believe they were safe until, of course, that was no longer the case. The best advice is to routinely review the extensions that are installed. Any that are no longer of use should be removed.