Infected apps, 11 million users spied on worldwide

A team of cybersecurity researchers has discovered several extensions and apps that spy on online users' browsing history

The cybersecurity firm AdGuard Reserch has uncovered a new cyber attack campaign that takes advantage of apps and web browser extensions containing malware with the aim of spying on online users' activities and collecting their browsing history.

This is a widespread malware campaign, which according to initial reports has reached more than 11 million people worldwide. These malicious extensions and applications act on most devices, from Android smartphones to iPhones, from Windows 10 computers to macOS. Most users have been affected with extensions for Chrome and Firefox, while on Android the most dangerous apps were developed by the US company Big Star Labs on the Play Store while on iOS the malicious apps are those installed via jailbreak.

How to defend against malicious apps and extensions spying on us

Most of the malicious apps and extensions discovered by cybersecurity researchers pretended to be adblocker services that, in theory, were meant to block pop-ups and banner ads. In reality, the malicious apps and extensions for Android and iOS also secretly recorded all online activities of Internet users, such as sites visited, social media and products viewed for possible purchase. All this data was then used by cyber criminals to make money by reselling our information to marketing companies or to generate customized scams against us.

If you have installed any of Big Star Labs' extensions or applications, it is more than recommended to delete it immediately. The risk that our online browsing could be spied on by hackers is high. Also, when we install an extension or application on the iPhone or Chrome and Firefox browsers we avoid doing it from untrusted sites and digital stores other than the official ones. Finally, in order to check the security of each application or extension installed on our various devices we always use an antivirus, through which we can do a thorough scan of the various programs to understand if any of those installed are putting our privacy at risk.