Microsoft is warning users of a new malware that is affecting popular browsers, including Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox. The malware is designed to present itself as a fraudulent ad in search results, attempting to phish personal data from users.
According to a notice from Microsoft, the malware (Adzrozek malware) has been infecting computers since early May. During its peak, the malware was infecting over 30,000 devices per day during the summer of 2020.
The malware is being distributed via 159 malicious domains, each hosting an average go 17,300 URLs. These URLs are known to host hundreds of thousands of samples of this malware, bypassing multiple security tools.
“If not detected and blocked, Adrozek adds browser extensions, modifies a specific DLL per target browser, and changes browser settings to insert additional, unauthorized ads into web pages, often on top of legitimate ads from search engines,” explained Microsoft.
“The intended effect is for users, searching for certain keywords, to inadvertently click on these malware-inserted ads, which lead to affiliate pages. The attackers earn through affiliate advertising programs, which pay by the amount of traffic referred to sponsored affiliated pages.”
It is recommended that users download and install one of the many popular browser malware removal tools, and use a VPN for extra privacy and security. The threat is even more real for Firefox users, where the malware is known to be able to directly infect the browser, stealing confidential credentials stored on the device. This leads to a large chance of account takeover or identity theft.
The company also advises against downloading and installing software from unknown sources, only visiting websites that are trusted, and use services like malware detection and antivirus software to help keep your computer secure. If you believe that your browser is infected, it is recommended that you reinstall your web browser.
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