Google Chrome extension that lets you extract text from photos and videos has been targeted by hackers and now infects users with constant ads
Google Chrome extension Copyfish, which lets you extract text from images, PDF documents and videos, has been targeted by a group of cyber criminals. German team of developers a9t9, which is behind the project, fell into the trap of hackers and now users are the ones who are paying for it.
It is a serious problem as the extension has more than 37 thousand downloads and every day many users use it to extract text from photos or videos. Unfortunately, at the moment the cyber criminal group behind the attack has not been identified. The only thing that is certain is that the extension contains adware that sends users continuous advertisements. Luckily, Copyfish version for Mozilla Firefox has not been targeted by hackers and can still be used without any risks. For now, the German developers can't modify the extension and secure it as the app was moved to the cyber criminals' account and they lost control over it.
All because of a fake email
According to the first checks of cyber security companies, the German team was infected with a phishing attack in late July 2017. One of a9t9's employees received a fake email from the Chrome development team, where he was urged to update the extension under penalty of its exclusion from the store, and clicked on the malicious link that initiated the attack. The link was in the form of a shortened bit.ly, and the developer not only failed to notice the deception but also entered his credentials into the fake Google page. Thus giving full freedom of action to the hackers. This attack underlines once again how dangerous phishing emails can be for companies, and how important it is to invest in staff training. Google is currently working on recovering the extension from the hands of cyber criminals while a9t9 has warned all users not to install the app on Chrome and to delete it if they notice constant advertisements.